Biden Administration taps Washington state’s Kim Wyman to lead national election security effort
The Biden administration has tapped Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman to lead a national effort to curb foreign and domestic election interference.
Wyman, Washington’s sole GOP statewide officeholder, will be the top official within the Department Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. In the 2020 election cycle, Wyman famously refuted former President Donald Trump’s claims of widespread election fraud, drawing the ire of the former president.
“When I began working in elections 28 years ago, I resolved to work toward a system where every eligible person in our state had the opportunity to register, vote, and have their ballot counted fairly and accurately,” Wyman said in a statement announcing the move. “In the past six years, my focus expanded to ensure our elections remained safe from foreign adversaries.”
Gov. Jay Inslee will name a successor to fill the job until the next general election in 2022. Wyman has been Washington’s secretary of state since 2013.
Wyman said she will continue the approach she used in as the state’s top election official.
“During my tenure as a state and county elections administrator, Washington expanded vote-by-mail elections statewide, installed nearly 500 ballot drop boxes, implemented same-day and automatic voter registration, enabled 16- and 17-year-olds to pre-register to vote, and more,” she said.
“I am honored to be able to share nearly three decades of experience and expertise at the federal level to support CISA’s efforts to safeguard our election systems from cyberattacks and enhance the public’s confidence in our elections.”
In a message posted to Twitter, Wyman said the most difficult part of serving in the new role is stepping down before the completion of her Washington state term.
“However, the threats to our country’s elections system continue each day and they must be met with a combined effort by IT and cybersecurity experts alongside election professionals at the local, state, and federal level,” she wrote.
A message to all my supporters about the future. pic.twitter.com/1Eb8JLhSHa— Kim Wyman (@KimWyman12) October 26, 2021
Washington was among 21 states where suspected Russian agents tried to hack into voter rolls and state systems. In 2019 under Wyman’s watch, the state implemented VoteWA, an updated voter registration system that allows for mail-in ballot tracking.
While in office, Wyman refuted fraud claims and ballot “audits” such as in Arizona as a political stunts. She sparred against state gubernatorial candidate Loren Culp when he claimed — without proof — of election irregularities that cost him the 2020 election. Culp lost the election by 20 percentage points.