The move will put Wayman in a key role working with election officials across the country at a time when many members of his party have baselessly cast doubt on the integrity of the election.
People who spoke on condition of anonymity said federal officials are in talks with Washington State Secretary of State Wyman to serve as election security lead for DHS’s cybersecurity and infrastructure security agency. Sources said Wyman’s selection will not be official until all administrative paperwork with the White House is cleared and the administration announces his appointment.
As a Republican Secretary of State, Wyman has repeatedly denied Trump’s false claims that mail-in ballots invite fraud. He said Trump’s announcements were undermining American democracy. And in a May interview with CNN’s “New Day,” Wyman sharply criticized the fake “audits” of 2020 election results commissioned by Arizona Republicans.
Wyman will be a federal liaison for state and local officials as they seek resources and support to protect voters from hacking election infrastructure and disinformation campaigns. She has experience to draw: She spent nearly a decade as election director for Thurston County, Washington, before being elected secretary of state.
The Cyber Security and Infrastructure Security Agency declined to comment, and Wyman’s office did not respond to a request for comment.
A spokesman for the White House National Security Council cited questions from the Cyber Security and Infrastructure Security Agency.
During the 2020 election, agency officials used a public website and an active Twitter account to debunk Trump’s false claims of widespread election fraud. The fact-check prompted Trump to sack the agency’s then-director, Christopher Krebs, by tweeting.
DHS intensified its election security efforts after the 2016 election, when Russian government-backed hackers investigated state IT systems across the US and accessed voter registration data in Illinois. Krebs and his election-security leadership, Matthew Masterson, won praise from state and local officials on both sides in 2016 for building closer cooperation following an atmosphere of distrust.
The agency’s current director, Jane Easterly, has said she will continue her efforts to tackle voting-related disinformation.
Krebs told CNN on Monday that he was “really impressed” by Wyman’s choice to lead the agency’s election security efforts.
“Kim doesn’t see R or D, red or blue,” Krebs said. “He is committed to deliver democracy for the nation. Everyone wins here.”
If officially named, Wyman will end her work for him.
Since Trump’s defeat last November, election officials from both parties have faced misinformation and propaganda from Trump allies, which election experts have warned is a threat to American democracy. CNN reported in September that the FBI has stepped up its efforts in recent months to investigate threats to state and local officials.
In a recent paper published by Stanford University, Masterson and other election security experts warned that threats could prompt election officials to leave the profession when they are most needed.
This story has been updated with commentary from Christopher Krebs, former director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.