Biden taps GOP official who rejected Trump’s fraud claims for election security role

Biden could tap Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman to lead the department of homeland security’s outreach to state election officials

Andrew Feinberg
Washington, DC
Tuesday 26 October 2021 17:08
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President Joe Biden may be looking to a Republican to head the US government’s future election security efforts, multiple news outlets have reported.

According to the Associated Press, Mr Biden is considering the only GOP official to win a statewide election on the US west coast – Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman – to lead election security at the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, a division of the Department of Homeland Security.

Formed in 2018, Cisa gained widespread attention last November when then-Director Christopher Krebs publicly refuted then-president Donald Trump’s false claims that his loss to Mr Biden in last year’s presidential election was due to widespread fraud.

After Mr Krebs issued a joint statement with members of the US Election Infrastructure Government Coordinating Council (GCC) Executive Committee which called the 2020 election “the most secure in American history” and stated that there was “no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised,” Mr Trump fired him by way of a tweet.

If chosen for the Cisa elections role, Ms Wyman – who is currently in her third term as Washington state’s top elections official – would report to Cisa Director Jen Easterly and be charged with serving as the Biden administration’s liaison to state governments.

The role would put her squarely in the crosshairs of Mr Trump and his allies, who frequently repeat lies about the election he lost. Since being forced from office when Mr Biden was sworn in on 20 January, the twice-impeached former president has embarked on an effort to replace GOP state election officials who refused to go along with his demand to not certify 2020 election results.

One such state official, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, is now facing a primary challenge from Representative Jody Hice, one of the House members who objected to election results on 6 January, the day a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol in hopes of preventing Congress from certifying Mr Biden’s electoral college victory.

In an interview with the Associated Press conducted shortly before the 2020 election, Ms Wyman called herself ““an elections administrator first and foremost,” and contradicted false claims about postal ballots which Mr Trump was making at the time.

“If the president wants to rant and rave about how insecure vote by mail is or how our elections are going to be rigged, then I’m going to talk about the security measures that Washington state put in place and I’m going to spend my time talking about the facts,” she said. “I’m not going to get mired down in some sort of political debate and posturing”.

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