Secretary of State Ed Buchanan speaks during a 2020 press conference. (Michael Pearlman/Office of Gov. Mark Gordon)

Wyoming officials are facing mounting pressure to audit the 2020 election from pro-Trump activists asserting, without evidence, that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from the former president through wide-spread voter fraud.

Activists across the state have flooded state lawmakers’ inboxes and voicemails with demands to investigate the state’s elections. These calls align with partisan efforts to relitigate election results in swing states like Arizona, Pennsylvania and Georgia.

Activists have also repeatedly implored staffers of Gov. Mark Gordon and Sec. of State Ed Buchanan to pursue policies to bolster “election integrity.” 

County-level post-election audits are already commonplace in Wyoming, and are required by statute. That has not stopped the activist tide; State Sen. Mike Gierau (D-Jackson) said he’s received “dozens” of emails calling on lawmakers to pursue an election audit.

Sen. Mike Gierau (D-Jackson)

“I’ve gotten to a point now that when people write about [voter fraud], I’d say they’d have to tell me that you understand that it’s not true, it didn’t happen, and that all you’re trying to do is trying to help frame your candidate for future elections,” Gierau said. “I want them to tell me they know that [Trump] did not win, that there was no substantive proof of election fraud anywhere in this country.”

The “Wyoming First Audit” chatroom on the online messaging app Telegram has attracted more than 1,000 members — though some are organizing a wide-ranging effort to combat perceived voter fraud.

“The American people are sick of politicians that do things their way instead of what WE THE PEOPLE WANT,” an email addressed to Rep. Dan Zwonitzer (R-Cheyenne), co-chair of the Wyoming Legislature’s Joint Committee on Corporations, Elections & Political Subdivisions, read. “WE WANT STATESMEN NOT POLITICIANS. WE ARE DEMANDING AN AUDIT. Do not expect to be re-elect unless you either do an audit or can hand us details (FACTS) like the ones you will learn in South Dakota.” 

Zwonitzer understood “South Dakota” as a reference to a “cyber symposium” held there earlier this month by MyPillow founder Mike Lindell, he said. During the event, Lindell, a prominent Donald Trump supporter, cast doubt on election results nationwide. Lindell has yet to produce evidence of fraud that election officials find credible. On Aug. 11 a federal judge ruled that a $1.3 billion defamation lawsuit brought against Lindell by election-technology vendor Dominion (a manufacturer of voting equipment) could proceed. 

Officials with the Wyoming Secretary of State’s office reported a sharp increase in public correspondence about election integrity following the event.

“[Since the symposium], we have gotten a lot of emails and a lot of calls with concerns about the integrity of our elections,” SOS spokesperson Monique Meese said.   

A growing movement

Chat logs within the Wyoming First Audit room reviewed by WyoFile reveal that growing efforts to circulate election audit petitions exist in numerous counties.

A map produced by conspiracy theorist Seth Keshel showing counties he believed were susceptible to voter fraud in the 2020 election. Albany County, which voted for a Democratic presidential candidate for the first time in decades, was one county Keshel deemed suspected of fraud. (Seth Keshel/Telegram)

Members of the chatroom shared scripts to use when calling elected officials and directed members to contact officials from their local representatives to the governor. Talking points borrowed heavily from materials shared at the Lindell symposium and the “America First Audits” Telegram channel. They include allegations of “sloppy record-keeping” in Laramie County, which the Wyoming GOP has also referenced in its election integrity messaging. 

Members also sought to organize an action plan to bring an audit petition to the governor’s office.

“We do have an effort to be organized and to pool our strengths by reading the pinned message and volunteering to be a part of a group that fits you best,” one member of the group wrote. “We need the WYO army to unite!!!” 

Some questioned the integrity of Wyoming’s elections using content from (which is funded by the Susan Gore-backed Wyoming Liberty Group) and Lindell’s Lindell founded the website after news programs stopped putting him on the air for fear of legal exposure from false, defamatory claims. 

Others raised concerns about Wyoming’s use of Election Systems & Software machines — which Lindell and the Wyoming Liberty Group have targeted as potentially vulnerable to fraud — citing the possibility of vote tampering through the internet.

According to the Wyoming Secretary of State’s office, Wyoming’s tabulation machines, which were purchased in fall 2019, were not connected to the internet at any point during the election.

The Wyoming of Secretary of State’s Office — which tasked three staffers with watching Lindell’s Cyber Symposium — contacted Lindell’s team asking for proof of potential fraud, but have not yet received a response, Buchanan said. 

“Today, all we have are allegations and nothing of any substance whatsoever,” Buchanan said.

Elected officials

Even lacking proof, casting doubt on the legitimacy of U.S. elections has gone mainstream in conservative politics. 

Last week, Alabama Congressman Mo Brooks was booed at a rally with Trump after urging his constituents to put allegations of a stolen election “behind you” as they look toward future election cycles. And polling data has shown a majority of Republican voters believe the election was stolen.

A news release from the Wyoming Legislature’s House Freedom Caucus in support of “election integrity.” (WY House Freedom Caucus)

The movement has also touched Wyoming, which has reported just three cases of election fraud since 2000, according to the conservative Heritage Foundation. Earlier this year, Buchanan attended a Republican Secretaries of State Committee meeting where “election integrity” was a primary discussion topic

In recent weeks, the topic of “election integrity” has even become a wedge issue between U.S. House candidates Sen. Anthony Bouchard (R-Cheyenne) — who has contested claims of rampant voter fraud in Wyoming’s elections — and Rep. Chuck Gray (R-Casper), who mounted an unsuccessful effort to bring the Wyoming Department of Audit under Legislative oversight for the purpose of auditing elections. “Bouchard is a traitor,” one member of the Telegram group wrote. “Totally agree,” another responded. “I think we are to flood Chuck gray with phone calls. He is the one that went to Arizona.”

Rep. Dan Laursen (R-Powell), who is supportive of national “election integrity” efforts, traveled to South Dakota earlier this month to attend Lindell’s symposium. What Lindell produced during the forum — even if only halfway or “a little bit” true — should be “concerning to everyone,” Laursen said. Even the slightest bit of doubt should be enough to compel an audit, he said.

“Would it be wise for us to at least do one? It might be,” Laursen, a member of the Wyoming House Freedom Caucus, said. “I don’t know if the Secretary of State would ever be interested. To put people’s minds to ease… It’s pretty darn important, I think.”

The biggest dangers, Gierau said, are signals from elected officials boosting irresponsible allegations.

“What is really starting to become patently obvious is that the Chuck Grays of the world, the people who are playing the opposite way, are feeding it,” Gierau said. “They’re feeding the big lie that they, in their own way, perpetuated just to curry favor for their own political ends. That I think is the biggest danger right now. Because you’ve got a duly elected representative who is perpetuating this and giving people the impression that there’s truth to it. Which there is not.”

How audits work

To address national concerns about election integrity, the National Association of Secretaries of State voted last week in support of standardized guidelines for the conduct of election audits.

Buchanan, while supportive of the best-practices measures in the guidelines, said the resolution might not actually be necessary in Wyoming, where county-level post-election audits are already mandatory, paper ballots are used in conjunction with digital vote-counting machines and voter rolls are regularly purged of non-voters. Buchanan’s office also performs logic and accuracy testing of the state’s election machines before and after the election, he said, which are all open to the public.

“It’s transparent, so people can see exactly how we do those things,” Buchanan said. “We’re constantly trying to make improvements to the system in Wyoming that we already think is pretty good.”

Buchanan is aware of a national narrative of mistrust in elections, he said, and is contemplating ways to counter that message in Wyoming. In the months following the 2016 election, he combatted allegations from Democrats nationally that foreign powers, including Russia, tampered with U.S. elections, and said he fears a similar narrative taking hold in future elections. 

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He and his office were happy to answer any questions people had about how Wyoming conducts elections, Buchanan said. Those most in favor of an audit in Wyoming, however, are likely uninformed about the state’s election systems and its safeguards and are simply looking for the conclusion that they already have drawn, he said.

In the coming weeks, Buchanan plans to field every bit of information he can to determine whether there is any credible information regarding widespread fraud in Wyoming’s elections, he said. If evidence is produced, he said, his office will take action. If it is not produced, Buchanan said, he plans to put an end to calls for an audit and begin the work of educating the public how Wyoming’s elections work.

“We want to look at credible evidence,” Buchanan said. “If you give it to us, we’ll find out what happened. We’ll figure it out. But right now, we have received nothing.”

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  1. Wyoming needs an audit. We have to ask why the governor and senator do not want full disclosure as to what they are doing with our money and tax dollars. We need an audit. Do not stay under a rock. Where there is verified fraud in one state, there is fraud in every state.

  2. What you want from an audit is proof the integrity of what is being audited is sound. Why oppose an audit? Proof that your belief is correct should be welcomed. Knowledge that your belief is incorrect should also be welcomed. Need the truth to make accurate decisions.

  3. Get real – election fraud is not a problem in Wyoming!!! Did you see this mornings news from Michigan where a Federal judge sanctioned Sydney Powell and other attorneys for filing a frivolous lawsuit – they got slapped down big time. Please don’t let this nonsense be propagated in Wyoming.

  4. What is the purpose of auditing an election that was so one-sided? I can only think of one reason and that is to attack the integrity of our elections. Since nearly all of the county auditors are Republicans are we impugning their reputations? Sounds to me like a purely political ploy.

  5. It is sad what our great country has become, a bunch of whining crybabies rooted in pure fantasy. And it seems that those in Wyoming are, frankly, the worse.

  6. The only purpose of these people in calling for an audit of the Wyoming elections is to undermine the confidence in those elections. There is no other logical reason for further audits. They will not find that Joe Biden carried Wyoming. They need to get a better Presidential candidate that can win the next time. Total non sense and a waste of time.

  7. Seriously?? A state that lost its mind and went 77% for Trump needs to “audit” the vote for fraud? Sweet Heaven– which fraudulent “Cyber Ninjas” firm are they going to waste my tax dollars on in search of more campaign contributions? Just how much more insane and corrupt can the Wyoming Republican Party become?

  8. I am a newly elected Republican serving in the Wyoming State House of Representatives. Seldom, if ever do Senator Mike Gierau (D-Teton) and I agree on anything. This, however, is such an occasion. I do not believe that Wyoming experienced any voter fraud. This is largely because I do know the process which is used to review and validate our elections. Rather than challenge the integrity of Wyoming’s elections, I would prefer to talk about what makes Wyoming’s processes so much better than other states.
    I do believe that something happened this past election cycle, I just don’t think that if some states had issues with their integrity or fraudulent activities, that doesn’t mean that it happened everywhere.
    I believe that some states should be looking into their election processes as I saw evidence that looked rather questionable. As a Nation, we need to ensure that our elections are free and transparent. I wouldn’t want Massachusetts to be telling Wyoming how we got it wrong any more than I would want Massachusetts telling Wyoming how to run our elections

    1. Something did happen-we got rid of the chrump. I’m sure your more qualified than all the judges that said NOTHING happened.

          1. It’s your Marxist plan, and it’s failing in front of the world. The Communists always fail.

          2. the “marxist” plan is your new boogeyman?

            is it like the candyman? you say it enough times and it will appear?

        1. Don’t forget, Donny Dumb— and pompeo negotiated this deal. Try to keep out of the fox news trap.

          1. And O’Biden immediately changed the plan (think 4 years of no wars), and now we have a crisis that you celebrate, but still try to blame on the prior admin. Arming the terrorists with US weapons, open borders, a crisis in Afghanistan, and a feeble O’Biden who crumples in front of the podium when he is reminded that he’s responsible.

    2. The something that happened was that Trump was a failed candidate. He didn’t get enough votes in the right places to win.

    3. no fraud happened on the scale that is claimed, and you know it.

      you are catering to your whack-a-doo constituents that believe the pillow salesman’s lies. instead of selling your integrity to protect your position, you should find the courage to say enough is enough.

      doubtful it’ll happen, but i’ve always been an optimist.

      1. There was fraud in the 2020 election, especially in the swing states, and you are in denial. Did you learn your optimism from President Trump? You talk about him incessantly, and optimism is certainly one quality that is missing in the citizens of the country after the election . . . . . No optimism in the failing economy, open border, the growing crisis in Afghanistan, and the surrenderer-in-chief, who (like you) is trapped in a tired mantra of blaming his predecessor for all of his failures. Maybe you can help him out by buying him a pillow for his next nap at the podium? Can’t wait for more name calling……

        1. what will it take for you to believe that there was no fraud on the level that the pillow salesman and chrump claim?

          is there any outcome that will set your mind at rest and you can finally say “okay, i’m content. i now know that everything was handled appropriately” is there any scenario that could get you to that point?

          because if there is no possible outcome that will satisfy you, why does the truth matter? no matter how much proof is given to you, you will continue to believe in your fantasy. you will continue to believe that you are right and all the judges, election officials, secretaries of states, attorney generals, politicians (right and left), and legal experts are all wrong.

          if that is truly how you feel, then it makes sense that you worship the orange narcissist. as the saying goes, it takes one to know one.


          1. Here’s a simple answer: forensic audits in swing states and/or a legitimate court case where the evidence is heard, and both sides can present their case. If the current Regime actually is legitimate, why did they have to illegally change voter law in swing states? Why did swing states certify elections with competing electors? Why has Marl Elias and Perkins Coie sent an army of lawyers to prevent any sort of review or court case? How many audits was Gore allowed before the Supreme Court finally said enough was enough? Why are the Dems so afraid of a real court case and audits? Why are millions of people censored or banned on social media for beliefs contrary to the democrat party? There are plenty of people on the Left and Right who doubt the legitimacy of the election for good reason. If your so sure your guy won, you should welcome an honest review through an audit or truly neutral court.

          2. you’d have to ask the republican appointed judges who deemed the “fraud” cases that appeared before them had no merit.

            you’d have to ask the elected republican secretaries of states who verified the elections in their states.

            you’d have to ask the republican representatives who have admitted that there was no fraud on the scale that is being claimed.

            you’d have to ask the republican attorney general who quit because he couldn’t handle the obvious lies about election “fraud”. this one is a doozy as well. as much as bill barr protected and sheltered chrump during his tenure, even he couldn’t get on board with the crazy narrative that was being pitched. that’s saying quite a bit.

            it’s hard to have a “legitimate” court case (as you put it), when the complaints are borne out of outlandish conspiracy theories.

            unplug from the conspiracy talk. use some reasoning for once.


          3. Right…… “orange man bad”, your tiresome go-to. Your list of corrupt officials “left and right” are being exposed daily. No matter how often you Marxists attempt to force conservatives to agree with you, they won’t. Your argument, your tactics, and your tone remain unconvincing and futile. Meanwhile, “independents” are fleeing from this regime. We know that the Left will never accept responsibility for the current collapse of America, and when it happens, keyboard dictators like you will be forced out into the real world.


        2. Elections? trump lost. Economies booming here, Can’t get enough help. Afghanistan? Manage it the way it was before Bush screwed it up. Cruise missiles.

    4. Bob- you and all the other outspoken virulent conservatives who want to see a flood of voter disinfranchisement laws passed are being totally hypocritical to a fault.
      State’s Exhibit A: the same eelection you claim was flawed somehow elected a lot of Republicans on the very same ballots. Uncontestedly .

      You can’t have it both ways. You aren’t real good at talking out of both sides of your mouth , either.
      By way of review, the slew of over 400 election fraud bills introduced solely by Republicans in the 50 state houses in the past years can be traced back to a single source: ALEC , the American Legislative Exchange Council. That is the ultra-conservative political entity funded by the Koch brothers , Heartland Institute, and their corporate ilk to produce boilerplate legislation , handed out freely to far right lawmakers coast to coast. It ain’t democracy —that’s the definition of collusion ; connivance. Dare I say conspiracy for real , for once ?

      1. You (conveniently) forgot about the swing states that ACTUALLY changed election law through bogus lawsuits to create “settlement” agreements in clear violation of their state constitutions. All perpetrated by Dems for their advantage, clearly illegal, funded by CCP puppets like Zuckerberg and Soros, and never even discussed by the corrupt media.

        Watch Michigan, it will be the first state to reverse such corruption. Misdirection isn’t working as your house of cards is tumbling and you know it.

    5. “I do believe that something happened this past election cycle…. I saw evidence that looked rather questionable.”

      Republicans have become experts at spewing provocative but totally baseless and empty statements like the one above:

      Newly elected Representive Wharff:
      1. Has any duly appointed state or county election board, including those in GOP controlled states and precincts, declined to certify their election results?
      2. Has any duly appointed state or county election board performed audits or recounts that actually produced discrepancies sufficient to change their election result?
      3. Has any investigation by any official law enforcement organization resulted in indictments for invalid votes in sufficient number to change an election result?
      4. Have any Republican Secretaries of State or Governors in states that Trump lost declined to certify their election results?

      The answers to all these questions, as any honest and minimally informed person knows, is an unequivocal “NO.”

      Public officials who claim or even insinuate, with no evidence that our election processes are defective despite such a preponderance of evidence to the contrary are dishonest, dishonorable, despicable, and un-American.

  9. “Would it be wise for us to at least do one? It might be,” Laursen, a member of the Wyoming House Freedom Caucus, said. “I don’t know if the Secretary of State would ever be interested. To put people’s minds to ease… It’s pretty darn important, I think.”

    Wanna know the fastest, easiest, cheapest and by far the MOST EFFECTIVE way to “put people’s minds at ease” about Wyoming’s or other US elections?

    It’s very simple solution:

    1.) Republicans ceasing to invent, propagate, and repeat the infinite stream of lies, baseless innuendo, and conspiratorial gibberish about US elections that are undermining them in the first place.

    See? Cheap. Easy. Simple. Effective.

  10. WHY?!
    So maddening to see another ship of fools falling for the lies.
    (And what happens if it turns out that the dreaded Democrats actually turned Wyoming blue?)

  11. All three elections for federal offices were won by Republicans in landslides. Both the Wyoming House and Senate is comprised overwhelmingly by Republicans. So where are these folks looking for fraud? Seems that Barbara Parsons” statement is apt. Republicans accusing other Republicans of cheating?

  12. What part of “Trump Won” (overwhelmingly) in Wyoming don’t these people understand? Do they think an audit will show an even higher percentage?

    1. That is exactly what Mike “myPillow guy” Lindell – didn’t prove – but continues to lie about in “South Dakota” at his sham cyber summit (it’s embarrassing any Wyoming elected official attended this and it better not have been on tax payer money!) – ALL states, including those Trump won had voter fraud so Trump would lose the popular vote by more than he should have (or maybe he shouldn’t have lost the popular vote at all?). So even states that don’t use voting machines had their non-existent voting machines hacked apparently. Interesting that I have not heard a single actual computer expert (including Lindell’s own people) back up any claim of voter fraud based on any “proof” given at his circus of a summit.

  13. Apparently if the vote for Trump in Wyoming was not unanimous, there must have been fraud. These people are crazy!

  14. Casting aspertions on the County Clerks’ offices, it pretty ludicrous in the reddest of red states. The county clerks are mostly Republican. So, it is beginning to look like an internal struggle within the Republican Party. The want to be’s and wingnuts are trying to gain control it seems. If they antagonize elected officials of their own party, they are playing with fire.—likely have a back lash. At one of the committee meetings I listened to a county clerk expressing her outrage with the accusations that they didn’t conduct ethical elections.

    1. we can only hope that the republicans that are in service now will say they’ve had enough.

      the pillow salesman has absolutely NOTHING in the way of evidence. his own data experts have admitted that. a couple of them have tried to claim his 5 million dollar prize for proving that there was no election fraud like he claims. not surprisingly, he refuses to cough up the prize that he initially offered.

      how long will the gullible fringe nut jobs be allowed to run roughshod over the republican party? the republicans that have allowed the idiots to come this far will need to find a backbone at some point. send them all back to their parler/telegram/frank holes and let them praise their Q anon leaders amongst themselves. this is just getting stupid.

      1. They’ve decided that spines are optional, probably because they can now just prop themselves upright with all the fundraising dollars they have rolling in from the infinite perpetuation of these lies.