Secretary says Wyoming midterm elections secure from tampering, hacking

WYOMING – The general election midterms are tomorrow and the Wyoming Secretary of State’s Office has been working diligently to prepare for the safeguard of the event.

Amid allegations of interference from foreign actors and potential hacking of electronic voting machines, many states are moving back to a paper ballot system or more secure hybrid. Wyoming is likely years from moving in that direction due to fiscal concerns but the Secretary of State’s Office has assured the voting public every measure was taken to keep tomorrow’s vote secure from tampering.

“Wyoming’s citizens will be given every possible opportunity to cast a ballot because Wyoming elections are run with the utmost integrity from beginning to end,” said Secretary of State Edward Buchanan. “On Election Day voters can be confident in election procedures that protect our right to vote and the confidentiality of our ballots. And every voter can be confident that their vote will be counted and counted accurately—one person, one vote, no exceptions.”

State election officials received cybersecurity training in September from the FBI. A systemwide revamp awaits funding. Wyoming received some $3M in federal elections security grants but remains at least another $3M short of implementing any largescale change.

Measures to secure Wyoming’s elections include:

  • Wyoming voting systems are never connected to the internet and thus cannot be hacked or subject to cyber threats.
  • Each election judge is empowered under Wyoming law to challenge any voter who is suspected of misrepresenting themselves at the polls.
  • Each polling place reconciles the number of votes cast to guarantee that the number of people who checked into the polling place matches the number of ballots cast.
  • Every voting system that is used in an election is tested publicly for 100% ballot tabulation accuracy before being used in any election. Once tested, the ballot counter is immediately locked, sealed, and guarded through Election Day.
  • Each ballot can be verified by a paper audit trail that can be used to confirm the accuracy of every single vote. In order to maintain the secrecy of each person’s vote, this audit trail does not associate any ballot with the voter that cast it.
  • Wyoming’s 23 County Clerks work with well trained and experienced citizen election judges and poll workers who manage and monitor each polling place to ensure that the voting environment is efficient and free of obstructions and distractions for the voters.
  • All voters must attest that they are citizens and eligible to vote.
  • Wyoming’s voter registration system interfaces with data from the Wyoming Departments of Transportation, Health, Corrections, and the Division of Criminal Investigation to prevent voter fraud, such as votes cast by deceased persons. If voter fraud were to ever occur, those individuals would be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

Will Dinneen, Secretary of State’s Public Information Officer, said don’t believe everything you read on social media. “If a Wyoming voter hears that Election Day has been moved to Wednesday instead of Tuesday—that is obviously false and misleading. We encourage members of the public to exercise caution about what they see on social media. Voters should reach out to election officials if they have any questions or hesitations before going to the polls.”

At each polling place, the ballot box is sealed on Election Day before polls open and is only opened again by a bipartisan team of election judges. The ballot box is never removed from the presence of election judges until all ballots are counted and recorded.

“Our Election judges are fully prepared to quickly and efficiently conduct a free and fair election at the polls. My staff, my election judges, and all of my fellow clerks are dedicated to making voting accessible and secure,” stated Teton County Clerk Sherry Daigle.

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