Even the haters should admit it: Washington’s vote-by-mail election system is pretty tight. When Covid imperiled other states’ ballot efforts, they turned to ours for guidance. Record turnout, not fraud, ensued.
Since 2013, Washington secretary of state Kim Wyman has helmed that operation, ensuring that threats both foreign and domestic don’t compromise the integrity of our votes. Now she’ll do that work on a national level.
On Tuesday Wyman’s office announced that she’ll soon join the Biden administration as senior election security lead for the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), part of the Department of Homeland Security. She’ll resign from her state post on November 19 to focus on preventing things like Russian meddling ahead of midterms in 2022. It’s work she’s already taken on locally. “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. “In the past six years, my focus expanded to ensure our elections remained safe from foreign adversaries.”
Though Wyman is known as a vanishingly rare statewide Republican on the West Coast, she was quick to denounce president Donald Trump’s claims of election fraud that led to the January 6 insurrection. “She has remained independent in the face of partisan challenges and has always done what was best for the strength of our democracy,” Washington governor Jay Inslee said.
He says he’ll appoint a replacement for Wyman in the coming weeks. That person will serve through the general election in 2022.
Crosscut has a list of candidates for the gig.