American News Oct 26, 2021 5:25 AM EST

REPORT: Biden administration to appoint Washington Republican Secretary of State Kim Wyman as election security lead

Wyman previously challenged former President Donald Trump's claims of fraud in the 2020 presidential election. Wyman called the recent audit in Arizona’s Maricopa County as "political theater."

REPORT: Biden administration to appoint Washington Republican Secretary of State Kim Wyman as election security lead
Ari Hoffman Seattle, WA
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UPDATE: Kim Wyman announced her resignation Tuesday, and accepted the role as the Senior Election Security Lead for the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA).

The Biden administration on Tuesday named Kim Wyman, the Washington Secretary of State, and the only Republican to hold statewide office on the west coast of the US, to lead the Department of Homeland Security's efforts to "protect future elections from foreign and domestic interference," according to CNN.

Wyman previously challenged former President Donald Trump's claims of fraud in the 2020 presidential election. Wyman called the recent audit in Arizona’s Maricopa County as "political theater."

According to the outlet, Federal officials have been in negotiations "for weeks" with Wyman to serve as the election security lead for DHS' Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. Sources told The Post Millennial that moving pods and shredding services were cited at Wyman's home in August.

Once Wyman resigns to accept the appointment, a temporary successor would be named by Democrat Governor Jay Inslee who would likely serve until November 2022 at the minimum.

Wyman served as Thurston County auditor for ten years. In 2012 she won the election for her current position as Secretary of State and was reelected in 2016 and 2020. In October 2020, Wyman published her book Elections 2020: Controlling Chaos: How Foreign Interference, a Global Pandemic, and Political Polarization Threaten U.S. Democracy.

During her tenure in office, Wyman has expanded Washington’s vote-by-mail system to include fully paid postage, and wide network of ballot drop boxes which has led to increased voter turnout.

Many have noted potential flaws Washington’s vote by mail system including election day voter registration and ballot harvesting. After the 2021 primary in Washington, The Post Millennial contacted Secretary of State Kim Wyman's office for comment regarding potential flaws with the integrity of the drop boxes.

Kylee Zabel, Wyman's communications directordefended the state's voter policies. "It is the voter's responsibility to return their ballot. Voters have the option of placing it in an official ballot drop box themselves, which the voter in the second video did, or handing it to an election worker to be placed in an official ballot drop box. That choice must be made by the voter. Voters also have the choice to return their ballot postage free through the U.S. mail so long as it is postmarked by election day," Zabel said.

"State law does not require that observers be present for ballot drop box collection. However, observers, including at least one representative from each political party, may be present to observe counting center operations," Zabel added.

Progressive candidates in Seattle pulling ahead towards the end of ballot counting, sometimes in miraculous numbers, has become the new normal in Seattle as Washington state's all vote by mail system continues to be refined.

Wyman told KUOW after the riot at the US Capitol on January 6, "I think every Republican elected official right now in the country is really having to do some soul searching about why they're Republican, and what it means to them, and why they are a part of the party. I know I have been doing that."

She added addressing claims of voter fraud, "If that's what my party stands for now, I don't know that I can continue being a Republican, because that's not what republicanism is about." She later attempted to walk back the comments in subsequent interviews.

According to CNN, Wyman would be a federal liaison to state and local officials and offer  "…resources and support to protect election infrastructure from hacking and voters from disinformation campaigns."

DHS ramped up its election security efforts after the 2016 election, when Russian government-backed hackers probed state IT systems across the US and accessed voter registration data in Illinois. Krebs and his election-security lead, Matthew Masterson, won plaudits from state and local officials of both parties for forging closer cooperation after an atmosphere of mistrust in 2016.

White House National Security Council referred questions on Wyman’s appointment to the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, however, the agency declined requests for comment from multiple media outlets. The Office of the Secretary of State and Homeland Security also declined to comment.

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