The County Clerks’ Association of Wyoming is refuting the claims of a prominent election denier who toured the state in March and April, giving public presentations in six counties and meeting privately with some lawmakers and Secretary of State Chuck Gray. Douglas Frank, a former high school math and science teacher from Ohio, also discussed his assertions of voter fraud with several county clerks. 

“Throughout those meetings, we have concluded that Dr. Frank conveys claims of impropriety but provides no proof to support his allegations,” Malcolm Ervin, Platte County clerk and president of the clerks’ association, wrote in a letter to Gray on March 29. 

Most Wyoming voters remain confident in the state’s elections, according to a survey conducted by the University of Wyoming last July and August. And audits before and after both the 2020 and 2022 elections indicated 100% accuracy across the state. The voting machines first used in 2020 were more secure and sophisticated than any other voting machines used in the history of Wyoming’s elections, former Secretary of State Ed Buchanan said while in office. 

Notably, those machines do not include the software or hardware necessary to connect to the internet or to communicate election results externally. The same is true of the tabulation computer in each county. Despite those facts, Frank told clerks those machines could be hacked remotely, even claiming he, himself, has the ability to do so. When asked for proof, according to the letter, Frank recalled a time “where he supposedly provided proof of that ability to a secretary of state in a southern state.

“One would think that Dr. Frank would be eager to prove this capability but rather than proof, Dr. Frank offers an unverifiable story.” 

Frank is one of several who have taken their fraud theories on the road following the 2020 election, according to national media reports. Tours often include public presentations and meetings with elected officials who play a role in how elections are run and certified. In September 2022, the FBI seized Frank’s phone, according to the Washington Post, in connection to a case involving Colorado’s Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters. Last month, Peters was found guilty of misdemeanor obstruction of government operation. Frank could not be reached for comment.

“Secretary Gray meets with hundreds of people every week to discuss issues that affect them,” spokesman Joe Rubino said in an email response to WyoFile’s telephone inquiry about Gray’s April 1 meeting with Frank. Gray was elected the state’s chief elections officer in 2022 after running on a platform of unverified claims of “tremendous problems” with Wyoming’s elections. 

Rubino did not respond to follow-up questions, including where voters could get trusted and accurate information about Wyoming’s election equipment since those details disappeared from the secretary of state’s website last month. The website is archived here and explains how Wyoming’s election data is collected and securely stored, among other facts. 

Private meetings

A graphic for a private event with Douglas Frank that was attached to Karen Wetzel’s email to lawmakers.

“I am hosting a private Official’s meet and greet with Dr. Frank where he can answer many of your questions,” Karen Wetzel, a Lander resident, wrote to Fremont County’s six lawmakers in an email on March 2. Last July, Wetzel organized the Republican-studded “Save Wyoming” rally in Lander

“When Dr. Frank speaks in a community, he recognizes local ‘officials’ often desire to speak directly and privately with him,” a graphic for the private event reads. “As he has specific election data for the Riverton area, he is making himself available for a confidential question/answer time prior to the evening’s public event.”

“This meeting is NOT open to the public, this meeting is for YOU,” Wetzel wrote in another email on March 24 to Reps. Lloyd Larsen (R-Lander), Ember Oakley (R-Riverton), Pepper Ottman (R-Riverton), Sarah Penn (R-Lander) and Sens. Cale Case (R-Lander) and Tim Salazar (R-Riverton). 

When asked if any lawmakers accepted the private invite, Wetzel told WyoFile “some of them did here in Fremont County but I’m not sure that they would want to be named.”

Case, Larsen, Oakley and Penn said they did not attend the private meeting with Frank nor his public presentation. Ottman declined to comment while Salazar did not respond to WyoFile’s request by press time. 

“I’m not inclined to set aside those people who intimately understand our elections for some out-of-state individual who may or may not have an agenda,” Larsen said. His confidence in Wyoming’s elections was reaffirmed years earlier, he said, during an extensive presentation Buchanan and his staff completed for lawmakers with the manufacturers of Wyoming’s voting machines. 

“I didn’t go on purpose,” Case said, adding that he felt his attendance as a lawmaker would have brought undue legitimacy to Frank’s theories. It was also personal — Wetzel has tried to sow doubt locally about Case’s 2022 election win, he said.

“I was out of town when Dr. Frank was touring,” Penn said. Oakley had prior commitments, she said.

Registration, voter rolls and ballots

Frank’s presentation in Evanston drew a large crowd, according to the Uinta County Herald, wherein Frank encouraged attendees to go canvassing to verify that household head counts match voter rolls.

“I’m not just here to convince you there is fraud,” Frank told the audience according to the Herald. “I’m here to light fires, and then throw gasoline on those fires.”

Such canvassing won’t provide a complete picture, according to the clerks’ association. 

“Remember that often a voter neglects updating their registration when they move within the same county. Therefore, there will be some individuals on voter rolls who have moved since the roll was updated,” the letter states. “Some responsibility must be placed upon the voter.” 

“Perhaps the only significant hard data Dr. Frank presents is that Wyoming voter rolls swell prior to a presidential election and shrink following the midterm election,” according to the letter. That alone proves voter fraud, according to Frank. 

The clerks, however, offer a simpler, benign explanation for the regular fluctuations. 

“Wyoming’s ebb and flow of voter rolls is nothing more than heightened interest in the presidential cycle and a purge of voters who do not participate in the midterm general election,” according to the letter. Additionally, as the clerks point out, voter registration in Wyoming must be made in person, and on paper with proof of identity — “therefore a paper trail is established for each voter in our state.” 

As is required under the Help America Vote Act, Wyoming’s voter rolls are maintained using a centralized system. The clerks contend that while centralized information is susceptible to cyber-attack, “previous administrations have, and [Gray’s] undoubtedly will, dedicate significant resources to ensuring the cyber-health of WyoReg.” The clerks also point to the in-person registration requirement as a significant safety measure. 

Frank also claims an ability to find thousands of ballots cast in each county that were fraudulent. However, the clerks “have never had a situation where our offices ended with more ballots cast than were issued, or more ballots cast than voters registered in the county,” 

“To be ‘Frank,’ we have done our best to inform citizens of election security in Wyoming,” the letter states. “Dr. Frank’s public tour of disinformation seeks to undermine the positive work that has been done — and continues to be done — to ensure the integrity of our elections. If what Dr. Frank says is true, we will be the first in line to seek answers.”

As secretary of state, Buchanan expressed in an op-ed the same willingness to look into allegations of voter fraud, including those put forth by “My Pillow guy” Mike Lindell. However, no evidence materialized, Buchanan said at the time. 

“Unfortunately, Dr. Frank relies on listeners to take him for his word, and his word alone,” the clerk’s letter to Gray states. “Claims without proof provide us with as much assurance as an umbrella riddled with holes.” 

Note: This story has been updated to fix a misspelling of Douglas Frank’s last name and to include details from Rep. Ember Oakley. Ed.

Maggie Mullen reports on state government and politics. Before joining WyoFile in 2022, she spent five years at Wyoming Public Radio.

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  1. The proof is that Joe Biden ‘won’ the election.. Every time anyone disagrees with that.. they’re labeled a conspiracy theorist..

    1. The proof is that no credible and verifiable evidence was presented. Do you think fox would pay 780 million if there was any truth to the fantasy?

      The conspiracy theory echo chamber that you reside in isn’t doing you any favors. Unplug from the fear mongering nonsense, and you might find yourself in a better mood.

  2. Gray has never been interested in believing the evidence that there was no voter fraud in the ‘20 or ‘22 elections, here in Wyoming or elsewhere. It seems those who voted him in also believe in the fraud. In the last days of his campaign, his ads, directed at Tara Nethercott we’re examples of the untruthfulness of the claims made against her. For instance, she “voted to raise the salary of the Secretary of State” making it seem like that was why she was running for that office. But the fact is the entire legislature voted to raise the salaries of the top 5 elected officials. She was not a “stolen election” conspiracy theorist, and she understood the obligations and limitations of that office; unfortunately for the far right republicans that was not good enough. I’m waiting with bated breath until Gray oversteps his job description. Maybe being part of the abortion lawsuit will begin the process of getting him out of office.

  3. Our Fremont County Clerk Julie Freese is most professional and has a firm grasp on our elections processes. If she says our elections are secure, accurate, and correct, we don’t need outside oversight!

  4. People who cry “voter fraud” have not participated in the election process in person, done the training etc. And so do not understand the process.
    Cross voting in Wyoming is simple. If you are a Democrat but you know a Republican candidate and have great confidence in that person you must register Republican to give support. Then you must re-register Democrat to vote your party. Remember, the large majority of this state is Republican, there often are no Democrats running for a given position. It is a small state so many people know all the candidates personally. Nothing wrong with supporting a superior candidate, even if that person is from the opposite party. maybe more people should vote for the best person rather than strictly along party lines. We would have better governance. No fraud involved, just pragmatism.

    Mr. Frank reminds me of Rudy Giuliani who subsequently had his license to practice law in New York and the District of Columbia revoked after false accusations of voter fraud and Dominion voting machine failures. He is the person who originally convinced Trump there must be fraud. Then he charged the Republican party an outlandish sum to pursue his false accusations. He could produce no evidence of voter fraud just as Mr. Frank cannot.

  5. Maggie thank you, thank you!

    For your reporting skills and efforts!


    What “if” after ALL this finger pointing, arm chair Warrior chatting and division – the- 2024 ELECTIONS ARE SUSPENDED and NO VOTE or VOTES counted! COULD HAPPEN then what?

  6. 23 county clerks in WY, overwhelmingly (if not all) Republican – yet they support voter fraud?

  7. Thanks God for our county clerks. Thanks to all the poll works that work to keep our election safe.

    Not sure why the intelligent people of
    Wyoming did not see thru Chuck gray when he was spreading lies. Wait, I forgot, the great orange one brain washed people.

    Is it me does or Chuck Gray look like George Santos.

    They both lie a lot??? Similar features🤣

    Excellent article

  8. Excellent article Maggie. Donal, next time, explain “who benefits.” Not everyone knows Latin nor has a law degree. Also, please quote the dangling participle so I don’t have to reread article to find it. Your point about funding for liars is well taken.

    1. It’s even worse that the out of state liar had a captive audience with the gullible locals.

      This is what happens when you value “faith” over intelligence and critical thinking.

  9. The corner stone of our American Democracy is voting and these Election deniers are a clear and present danger to the voting process. Even before a single vote was cast in 2020 the started in with no proof of fraud and to this day, despite all the evidence contrary to what the have claimed but have provided no proof of continue this sinister and fraudulent attack on our voting rights and our democracy. It is time to end this pure unadulterated Horse Puckies and hold these authoritarian nay sayers to account for their actions. As a voter and a poll worker in three states over years that I could not even recall how many election cycles, both myself, my wife, and regular everyday Americans have spent hours training and verifying that our elections are safe, secure and above reproach. I have yet to meet a single poll worker, at all levels of the process that do not believe in what we are doing. As a Democrat poll worker I have ALWAYS worked under the direction and control of a chief poll workers that was a Republican but one that put aside his or her party loyalties and in a non partisan manner made it clear everybody eligible votes in a non threatening environment without interference and secrecy. If after all the investigations and checks made since 2020 it is time for you to put up and you you job at the top of you game or shut up and resign because you can’t faithfully do it. In Wyoming this would be all members of the Freedom Caucus, Harriet Hageman, Chuck Gray, Jeremy Haroldson, Platte County, ( Freedom Caucus vice chair). It is time we fight this or this cancerous bull puckies will make us The United States just another failed democracy in the March of history. Fox News had to admit their lies, it time for these authoritarian nay sayers to come clean or be removed!

    1. Why of course my fellow American because the best is ALWAYS IN PLAIN SIGHT meaning crossover voting takes up the slack for fraud and stealing the votes so accuracy of the votes is in the thieves best interest. I stand up and applaud Chuck Gray’s intensity of riding this state of crossover voting in that way the THIEVES will just float to the top as seems to be happening as we watch… GREAT JOB CHUCK GRAY!!!

      1. Crossover voting amounts to nothing in Wyoming. Chuck Gray needs to not be in Cheyenne anymore. Bad for the state. His neighbors don’t like him.

  10. And kudos to Malcolm Ervin and the Wyoming County Clerks Association for their excellent letter! Thanks for the link, WyoFile. I have more confidence in our county clerk than in any other elected official in the state. I know a lot of folks in other counties who feel the same about their county clerk. Thanks to you all!

    1. Hey Dave! It’s good to see you in here, did you by chance see that our National Flag was NOT flying high at our voting area? As mentioned before with another American from Wyoming as long as crossover voting is happening the voting thieves must ensure accurate 🤫😉 counts would you agree, we in Wyoming need to stand STRONG and support Chuck Gray’s intensity and efforts to ensure accuracy in the Wyoming’s American VOTE, again it’s good to see you in here!

  11. Good Luck sending a letter to in your face Chuck Gray. He should be in the same boat with Fox Speculation News.

  12. Thank you to our county clerks for speaking up (again) and setting the record straight! Freedom caucus folks give lip service about how the best government is that closest to the people, but then they bring in an out-of-stater who claims he knows more more about Wyoming than our county folks who have been working here for years? No thanks.

  13. There is a bit of a dangling participle in Ms. Mullen’s story, perhaps because Maggie meting a deadline. Who is Douglas Frank? Does he have a credible background in computer systems, specifically voting machines? Does he give spiels for a fee and, if so, is this a business? If not, who funds him to travel the country and in this case, pay for 6 public venues in Wyoming? WyoFile’s signature phrase is cui bono. Applied here, who benefits from Douglas Frank’s road shows?

  14. The County Clerks have decades of trustworthy and accurate service to Wyoming voters. I would trust them and their information with my life.

  15. Fox News just paid three-quarters of a billion reasons showing why there was no election fraud or tampering and that all the stupid and dishonest claims of election fraud and tampering are false.

  16. This guy sounds like a generic version of the pillow patriot.

    How much did wyoming taxpayers have to pay for this idiot to come and spout lies?