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Three Proposed Constitutional Amendments on the November Ballot

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In addition to multiple federal, state, county and non-partisan items on the Election Day ballot, voters will also be able to vote on three proposed amendments to the Wyoming Constitution.

One amendment is in direct response to President Obama’s Affordable Care Act passed back in March. Wyoming election director Peggy Nighswonger says, if passed, Amendment A will allow the state legislature to place “reasonable and necessary restrictions” on health care in Wyoming.

The amendment basically states that Wyoming residents have the right to pick their own health coverage if they want, and, in addition, adults have the right to pay for their healthcare any way they want,” Nighswonger said. “They cannot be penalized with any fines for the choices they make.”

Nighswonger says, if approved by Wyoming voters, additional laws would have to be passed by the Wyoming Legislature to protect the amendment. Opponents say the amendment will disallow healthcare access to many Wyoming residents.

Another proposed amendment aims to protect the right to hunt and fish in Wyoming. Nighswonger says Amendment B will add language to the Wyoming Constitution that will shield against attacks on state subsistence rights.

The amendment prevents the adoption of any legislation that will eliminate or severely restrict the right to right of Wyoming citizens to hunt, fish and trap in the state,” Nighswonger said.

Opponents say, because they believe there’s no immediate threat to state hunting and fishing rights, a constitutional amendment isn’t necessary.

A third proposed amendment focuses on the power given to district court commissioners. Nighswonger says Amendment C will give commissioners authority to perform additional duties.

Currently the district court commissioners act when the district court judge is out of the county or is prohibited from hearing the case for some reason,” Nighswonger said. “This would just allow them to conduct any of the court’s business even when the district court judge is present.”

Most members of the law community say they’re in favor of the amendment. Opponents say the amendment would give district court commissioners too much power.

A sample ballot for Natrona County can be obtained at the county clerk’s office, or by visiting the county clerk’s website.

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