Wyoming County Clerks Urge Chuck Gray To Reject Election Conspiracy Theories

In a letter to Secretary of State Chuck Gray, the County Clerks Association of Wyoming urge him to ignore an election denier traveling through Wyoming and to reject 2020 election conspiracy theories.

Leo Wolfson

April 20, 20237 min read

Douglas Frank and Chuck Gray 4 20 21
(Cowboy State Daily Staff)

That Wyoming Secretary of State Chuck Gray would meet with a vocal national 2020 election denier making his way through Wyoming has caught the attention of the state’s county clerks.

Over the course of late March into early April, a man named Douglas Frank traveled around Wyoming propagating theories that America’s elections are fraudulent, not only in other places around the country, but also in Wyoming.

The County Clerks’ Association of Wyoming sent a letter to Secretary of State Chuck Gray on March 29, urging him that as the state’s top election official, he needs to guard against “claims without proof provide us with as much assurance as an umbrella riddled with holes.”

Malcolm Ervin, president of the association and the Platte County Clerk, reached out to Gray ahead of a meeting the Secretary of State was allegedly supposed to have with Frank on April 1. Ervin said Frank did meet with “several” county clerks around the state while giving various public presentations where he explained his election conspiracy theories.

“Throughout those meetings, we have concluded that Dr. Frank conveys claims of impropriety but provides no proof to support his allegations,” Ervin writes in the letter to Gray.

Gray told Cowboy State Daily on Thursday night that he, like many of the state's 23 county clerks, did meet with Frank.

"It’s deeply important that we have public officials that sit down and listen to concerns brought by individuals. For this reason, I meet hundreds of people every week. It's an integral part of being an effective Secretary of State. My door is always open."

The Traveling Denier

A few days before his scheduled meeting with Gray, Frank gave a presentation in Evanston,the Uinta County Herald reports, casting doubt on election integrity and urging the audience to speak to local officials about replacing voting machines with only paper ballots. He also held a presentation in Cody on March 28.

Ervin said Frank conflates Wyoming law with the laws of other states and uses cases of voter fraud elsewhere as a basis to postulate theories that it’s happening in Wyoming. Frank also claimed that modems are installed in Wyoming’s electronic voting equipment, which Ervin said is not true.

“Our offices are repeatedly told of fraud existing within the borders of our state, but when asked for evidence or referrals of fraud, we are continuously provided examples in other states,” he writes.

Frank’s conspiracies include claims of illegitimate voting rolls, fake ballots, machines secretly connected to cellphone towers and a plot by technology companies to change the outcome of elections.

“It doesn’t matter how good your evidence is, nothing is going to happen until the citizens realize what’s happening to them,” Frank told Cowboy State Politics in a March interview. “The fastest way to wake up a citizen is have them find fraud with their own hands. That spreads like wildfire once you get that bonfire started in a county.”

Who Is Frank?

Frank is backed by MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, who continues to offer similar rhetoric and falsely told Cowboy State Daily in 2022 that Wyoming’s elections are rigged and people who don’t agree with that are traitors.

“Any politician says that — 100% traitor,” he said. “Wyoming had 20-s-thousand votes stole in the president election,” he said. “That’s almost 10% of your home (total cast) votes in Wyoming. Everything was taken.”

Former Secretary of State Ed Buchanan came out vehemently against these claims, describing them as “patently false.”

A former math teacher from Ohio, Frank is a frequent speaker in Stop The Steal circles and in September 2022 claimed FBI agents seized his phone as part of an alleged breach of Colorado voting machines by conspiracy theorists in 2021.

Frank also was previously named in a search warrant for Lindell’s phone.

In his meeting with county clerks around Wyoming, Ervin said Frank has placed blame on them for policies that are out of their control.

“We continuously attempt to clarify our role in the policy discussion, which is that we implement policy; we do not make policy,” Ervin writes.

Ervin said Frank’s concerns should be directed to state lawmakers, not clerks. 

Voter Rolls

Although Ervin admits there are some vulnerabilities in Wyoming’s central voter registration system, he said these risks can be mitigated as long as the state ensures adequate cybersecurity of the system.

He also pointed out that Wyoming does not have online voter registration, so a paper trail is connected with each voter in the state. Ervin said this paper trail makes Frank’s claims of manufactured voters equally as ridiculous. 

Frank also makes the argument that since voter registration numbers increase before presidential elections and shrink before midterm elections, a well-documented historical trend, proves fraud in Wyoming elections.

Ervin also said staff will “purge” nonparticipating voters from its registration rolls to ensure the most accurate data of active voters.

Frank said the fact that ES&S machines provide a tally of total votes cast in real time, it equates to “giving the bad guys the information they would need to stuff your elections."

He also claimed that he has inspected the state’s voter rolls and determined they are not accurate, but provided no evidence for this claim, Ervin said. The election denier, Frank, also said he could find thousands of fraudulent ballots in each county around the state of Wyoming.

No Fraud Here

Ervin said the clerks have never had a situation where there were more ballots cast than issued or more ballots cast than registered voters in a county, a phenomena known as “ballot box stuffing.”

He also said county clerks have received no complaints about absentee ballots being fraudulently submitted. In Wyoming, voter registry lists are available to the public, making it easy to ascertain whether a ballot was sent out.

“To be ‘Frank,’ we have done our best to inform citizens of election security in Wyoming,” Ervin writes. “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.”

In the summer of 2022, Buchanan traveled the state giving presentations on the security of Wyoming’s elections and how they work.

What Does Gray Think?

Gray has said previously that although he doesn’t believe Wyoming’s elections are fraudulent, he believes there is room for improvement that can make them more secure.

The same summer Buchanan gave his presentations, Gray hosted free screenings of the movie “2000 Mules,” a production that calls into question the security of drop box ballot boxes and alleges such ballot boxes were “stuffed” across the country, casting doubt on the outcome of the 2020 election. No footage from Wyoming was shown in the movie.

Buchanan had published this information to combat what he believed were falsehoods being spread about the state’s elections.

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Leo Wolfson

Politics and Government Reporter