Wyoming Secretary of State Challenges Election Law

Sep 30, 2011 - LegalZoom News Sources
Wyoming's secretary of state is suing to eliminate term limits.

Wyoming Secretary of State Max Maxfield recently filed a lawsuit challenging Wyoming's term limits for statewide elected officials.

In announcing the suit, Maxfield, who is serving his second term, said he has not decided whether to stand for reelection but wants to address the issue in a timely way.

"I wanted to settle as early as possible so it doesn't interfere with any future elections and it doesn't interfere with any future candidates," Maxfield said.

Maxfield filed the suit as a private citizen and is paying for legal fees himself.

The issue has been a hot-button topic in Wyoming since 2004, when the state supreme court overturned a statute setting term limits for legislators. According to the court's ruling, term limits can only be set by an amendment to the state constitution. However, because none of the five statewide elected officials - such as the governor and secretary of state - was a party to that suit, the ruling did not eliminate their term limits.

Jack Adsit, who spearheaded the initiative for the term limits statute that was approved by voters in 1992, told The Associated Press he expects the court to rule in Maxfield's favor. However, he maintained that a lack of term limits will result in a seniority system not conducive to good governance.