OLYMPIA, Wash. — Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman announced Tuesday she will step down to accept an appointment in the Biden administration.
Wyman, a Republican, will serve as the Senior Election Security Lead for the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, the nation’s leading agency for cyber, infrastructure and election security.
Her resignation will be effective November 19, 2021.
Wyman, who has served as Washington’s secretary of state since 2013, released the following statement:
“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. In the past six years, my focus expanded to ensure our elections remained safe from foreign adversaries. During my tenure as a state and county elections administrator, Washington expanded vote-by-mail elections statewide, installed nearly 500 ballot drop boxes, implemented same-day and automatic voter registration, enabled 16- and 17-year-olds to pre-register to vote, and more. This growth in access was coupled with partnerships that improved election security, from creating the VoteWA system that connects election officials in real-time to ensure election accountability, to establishing the first-of-its-kind Elections Security Operations Center. We also integrated statewide cybersecurity training, testing, and tabletop exercise programs in partnership with the Department of Homeland Security, CISA, the FBI, and the Washington National Guard. All of these enhancements, in addition to the tireless work from county election officials, have helped our elections gain national renown.
I am honored to be able to share nearly three decades of experience and expertise at the federal level to support CISA’s efforts to safeguard our election systems from cyberattacks and enhance the public’s confidence in our elections. As I assume this new role, I remain committed to protecting the integrity of our elections, and working closely with local and state elections officials nationwide to bolster this foundational pillar of our democracy.
For the past nine years, I have had the distinction of serving my fellow Washingtonians in unique ways, including overseeing state elections, corporations and charities registrations, State Archives, State Library, and various community programs. It has been my highest honor and achievement to lead the professionals responsible for administering these critical services and propelling this diverse office into the future. Although I will not have the opportunity to fulfill my term, I know they will continue to provide exceptional service and leadership well beyond my time in office. Together, this team has accomplished some amazing feats — from leading the way on election security and developing a streamlined online filing system for Washington’s corporations and charities, to making progress on a new Library-Archives Building that will connect the people of Washington to the rich history and inclusive future of our state, and so much more — and I am confident that this important work will continue.”
Wyman challenged former President Donald Trump’s false claims of election fraud in 2020.
Gov. Jay Inslee will select her replacement to serve through the next election. The governor released the following statement on her departure:
“I spoke to Kim earlier today and congratulated her on her appointment. She has remained independent in the face of partisan challenges and has always done what was best for the strength of our democracy.
“I remember watching Kim certify the 2020 election results last December on the floor of the state Senate. When confronted with the choice of adopting election lies being promulgated by powerful forces in her party, Kim chose to stand by the will of the people. We are a stronger state because of Kim’s endeavors.
“She is a great fit to lead these crucial efforts at the national level and I have no doubt that her expertise, energy and focus will lead to more secure elections and help restore faith in the democratic process.
“I will appoint her replacement in the coming weeks, and I believe that regardless of who it is, they will continue the vital work that Kim and her staff have put in place.”
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