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How do your Wyoming state legislators vote?

Evidence Based Wyoming new interactive reporting tool allows you to see how your legislators vote relative to each other.

Simply open a browser and go to Evidence Based Wyoming’s interactive legislator reporting website.

In just a few clicks you can find out more about how an individual legislator votes than was previously available.

It’s based on the legislator’s own voting record. This keeps it free from bias. The scoring is generated from the entire legislative year. No single issue or other external criteria influences a legislator’s score. It’s based only on the legislative voting record maintained by the Legislative Service Office in Cheyenne.

Let’s look at how to use the tool. For example, let’s look into how my representative, Mr. Eric Barlow voted in the last session.

Start off by going to Evidence-Based Wyoming interactive web site and selecting 2019 to analyze:

On the next page select the two legislators, one from each party, to compare voting records against. In this case, leave the default Democrat, Rep. Blake, and select Rep. Barlow from the Republicans, then click the PLOT button:

This will display a plot comparing every legislator to both Rep. Blake and Rep Barlow.

Let’s look at how who agrees with Rep. Barlow most often. As it happens the table is initially sorted by from most to least in how much each legislator agreed with the vote Rep. Barlow, our Republican Comparator. Looking at the table we see:

Of the top twenty legislators that vote most like Rep. Barlow, eight are Democrats. There are only nine Democrats in the Wyoming House. Yikes, 88% of the Democrats agree more often with Rep. Barlow than do 76% of Republican legislators.

Another feature of the tool is it computes the average scoring from all the Democrats and all the Republicans. Each legislator is then compared to the “average Democrat” and “average Republican”. It then tells which “average legislator” the legislator is closest to, that can be found in the “Nearest Party” column.

To be fair, lets compare the House voting records again the House Minority Leader, Rep. Connolly and the Speaker of the House, Rep Steve Harshman. as our comparators. The idea here is that the leaders of the political parties ought to be a good stand in for the “regular Republican” and “regular Democrat”.

When we do this, which party’s average is my legislator (Rep. Barlow) closest? The Democrat.

It’s no wonder I don’t agree with him very often.

Give it a shot how does your legislator stack up?

Author’s Note – January 19, 2020

The software incorrectly attributes the votes of Rep. Roscoe to Republicans until recently corrected.

It doesn’t change the data much. It does increase the separation of the average Democrat legislator away from the average Republican legislator. The upshot is it ought to be more challenging to be a Republican classified as a Democrat and vice-versa.

It turns out it doesn’t change much, if anything.

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