(Lander, WY) – Secretary of State Ed Buchanan presented information and data regarding election security and integrity in Wyoming to a small group in Lander on the evening of June 7.
He dispelled common myths surrounding Wyoming’s election, walked attendees through the election process, and provided an opportunity for the public to ask questions.
The first myth he noted was that Wyoming’s election was rigged – this allegation took on many forms which he discussed throughout the evening.
“The fact of the matter is our 2020 elections were accurate,” Buchanan said. “They were conducted with integrity, and in 2020 we utilized brand new voting equipment across the state of Wyoming.”
One of the allegations and the second myth is that the voting machines were connected to the internet. They were not.
If not connected to the internet, another allegation and myth number three is they could be physically breached – tampered with, vandalized, etc…
The machines utilize tamper-evident tape and wire seals for security. They are also kept securely away from people while being stored.
“These machines are locked up and they’re secure,” he said. “And your clerks have strict security protocols and security logs that they keep so that they know the physical location of that machine and they can account for the physical location and security of that machine at all times – 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”
Myth number four is that Wyoming uses Dominion voting machines. Starting in 2020, Wyoming did not use Dominion voting machines. Prior to 2020, three counties used them – Goshen, Laramie and Carbon.
“For 2020, I said I want the equipment to all come from the same company so that we’re all on the same page,” Buchanan said. “We are standardized as to how they work, we know how they work, we know how we lock them, and I want all 23 counties to utilize the same equipment. We do not have any Dominion equipment in Wyoming.”
A pre-election audit of each machine that is going to be used during the election is conducted. The clerks take a test pack of dummy ballots, they know the results of those ballots, and they run them through the machines, and the machines have to get that 100 percent correct if they are to be put into service.
Each of the machines has an encrypted memory stick, and that’s what records the data and has people’s votes throughout the election cycle. That stick is removed and transported to the county clerk either by county personnel or in some cases law enforcement.
Those results on that stick are loaded onto a dedicated, hardened computer that is not connected to the internet. It is solely dedicated to the election process and has ES&S (the voting machine brand) software and is able to generate a PDF report of the election results.
The report is then transferred to a regular memory stick and taken to another computer with an internet connection. The report is then sent in an encrypted email to the Secretary of State, who calls the clerk to confirm they received the results.
Finally, a post-election audit is completed per statute. A percentage of the machines that were used in the election go through the same test process as the pre-election audit with the dummy ballots to make sure that the machines are still operating correctly even though the election is done.
‘Keeping up with the times’
Language for a bill to prohibit ballot harvesting in Wyoming has been drafted.
“(We) have no evidence of any ballot harvesting in Wyoming,” he said. “Nobody has brought me any evidence of that, but everyone can agree that it’s not a good idea.” … “Because our election code goes back to 1973. It was a different time. Nobody dreamed anybody would ever try to do that. But just because it’s not happening doesn’t mean we can’t be proactive and make the law so that it can’t happen.”
Prohibited private corporate campaign money is also one that Secretary Buchanan personally worked on the language for legislation.
“This did not happen in Wyoming, I checked. But you have the Zuckerbergs and people of the world who say I’m gonna give grants to these cash-starved government entities, and I’m going to help him with voter registration. That’s dangerous. And the reason it’s dangerous is because these entities operate and they tell you that they are nonpartisan, but they’re anything but. They are very partisan, and they are on the left and the right. And what they will do is they’ll give you the money, and they’ll say you have to do the voter registration drive over here in this demographic, or over here in this demographic. Well, that’s designed to give one party an advantage over the other and vice versa. And we don’t want that in our elections, it has no place in our elections.”
For additional information contact the Secretary of State Office at 307.777.7378 or [email protected].