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September 30, 2008 3:01 am

General election ballot set

Written by Tribune Staff

Five presidential candidates

Wyoming's general election voters will vote on two constitutional amendments and five presidential candidates in November.

The last day to register to vote is next Monday, Oct. 6. However, you can also register on Election Day — Nov. 4.

Constitutional Amendment A is designed to “clarify and modernize” the oath of office taken by elected officials. Officials still must swear to uphold the state and federal constitutions, but the amendment would more than halve the oath — from 137 words to 61.

A second constitutional amendment, Constitutional Amendment B, would change the way citizens can pass or repeal legislation. Currently, if you want to propose a new law (an initiative) or get rid of one already on the books (a referendum), you must collect signatures from 15 percent of the voters in 16 of Wyoming's 23 counties. Then, the new law — or proposal to eliminate one — goes on the ballot for everyone in the state to vote on.

Amendment B would tweak those requirements. Signature-gatherers would need to get 15 percent of voters in 20 of the 30 state senate districts.

Five presidential candidates will be up for Wyoming voter consideration.

The Republican's nominee, Arizona Sen. John McCain, and Democratic nominee, Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, are well known to voters — they've been running neck and neck in national polling.

In Wyoming, the Libertarian Party also is classified as a major party. That gave ballot access to the Libertarian nominee — former U.S. Senator Bob Barr of Georgia.

Through the petition process, which requires 3,868 signatures from registered voters, independent candidate and consumer advocate Ralph Nader qualified for the state ballot. Chuck Baldwin of the Constitution Party also gathered enough signatures to get a ballot slot.

Nader turned in 437 pages of signatures, and Baldwin turned in 394.

Park County voters will decide whether to renew the 4-percent lodging tax.

The money is administered by the Park County Travel Council to promote and market the county. In 2007, the tax brought in $1.37 million.

Local voters will also decide whether or not to retain Fifth Judicial District Court Judge Steven Cranfill for another six years.

The Cody Conservation District will be on the ballot seeking public money. They are asking for the ability to levy up to one mill of property taxes from Cody residents to support their natural resource programs.

“We're really starting to feel the need for extra funding,” said district director Mack Frost.

Frost also said that if passed, the conservation district would most likely not levy the entire mill.

Seven candidates — none of them affecting Powell — were added to the ballot from the write-in results of the Aug. 19 primary. Four candidates joined the Frannie Town Council race, and three candidates were added to the ballot for Meeteetse Town Council.