- Associated Press - Sunday, October 26, 2014

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - Elections officials in Cheyenne are hoping to speed elections returns after a clunky August primary.

Laramie County Clerk Debbye Lathrop said the county has made upgrades so that vote tallies from its 61 precincts come out earlier.

The county has doubled the number of machines to read memory cards from individual voting machines, Lathrop told the Wyoming Tribune Eagle (http://bit.ly/1zbkIA0 ).

On primary election night in August, Laramie County was one of the last counties in the state to report unofficial election results, at 10:38 p.m.

“Right now, we only have three machines that we can upload (memory) cards into,” she said. “We are trying to get three more ‘dongles’ - that’s really what they’re called - so we can connect three more machines.”

On past election nights, the canvassing board has “watched the process and served as the eyes to make sure everything is going right,” Lathrop said.

“But if they can help with loading up the cards, then we can get things done faster,” she added.

Lathrop said she will keep an open mind about longer-term strategies the county can employ to improve the process.

She said she is watching a shift toward mail-in ballots. Several states, including Colorado, have adopted all-mail election systems.

“I will be paying close attention to what happens in Colorado,” Lathrop said.

She said she is working with the Wyoming Legislature to allow for the creation of “vote centers.” Those will make it easier for voters because they could vote at any center, not just in their designated polling places.

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Information from: Wyoming Tribune Eagle, http://www.wyomingnews.com

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