Chuck Gray Wants To Shut Down Wyoming’s First AI Candidate

Secretary of State Chuck Gray says the campaign of Wyoming’s first artificial intelligent political candidate should be shut down because a computer-generated persona isn’t a qualified elector or registered voter.

Leo Wolfson

June 12, 20244 min read

Secretary of State Chuck Gray (left) doesn't believe Vic Miller's AI campaign is legal.
Secretary of State Chuck Gray (left) doesn't believe Vic Miller's AI campaign is legal. (Cowboy State Daily Staff)

CHEYENNE — Wyoming’s capital city may not know anytime soon what it’s like to have an artificially intelligent (AI) mayor.

The campaign of Wyoming’s first AI political candidate may be shut down almost as soon as it started because the candidate, a computer-generated persona named VIC, is not a qualified elector or registered voter in Wyoming.

Staff from the city of Cheyenne, Laramie County and state of Wyoming are now investigating whether VIC, an acronym for Virtual Integrated Citizen, is eligible to participate in Wyoming elections.

Possible Issues

VIC’s campaign was filed by Cheyenne resident Victor Miller on May 31. Miller told Cowboy State Daily he planned to allow his AI chatbot and virtual assistant to make all decisions for the city based on documents and other supporting information fed to him.

Miller calls the investigation into the campaign an “attack on progress.”

“We know we have an option that’s better than our current politicians that’s probably better,” he said. “That’s what they’re afraid of, losing their bread and butter.”

As Wyoming’s top election official, Secretary of State Chuck Gray doesn’t think VIC is a legal candidate and wrote a letter to Cheyenne City Clerk Kristina Jones on Monday explaining his opinion why.

Although municipal clerks certify municipal candidates in Wyoming, as Jones did for VIC’s campaign, Gray said his office is charged with ensuring uniform application of election code throughout the state.

Miller said Gray’s involvement in the matter is inappropriate and outside his jurisdiction.

“That man is trying to bully out a candidate,” Miller said. “This is a state-level hack trying to bully a candidate out of a local thing.”

In his letter, Gray acknowledges that Miller is a registered voter and qualified elector in Wyoming, but VIC is not, falling short of the qualifications of being a real person, 18-years of age or a citizen of the United States.

“Thus, Wyoming law is clear that an AI bot cannot run for office,” Gray wrote.

Miller said he studied the city of Cheyenne’s candidate nomination form extensively before filling it out.

“For them to nitpick it now feels like a bait and switch,” Miller said. “I was under the impression I was doing it right.”

No Last Name

Gray also believes a last name should have been required from VIC for his campaign to become eligible.

“By submitting ‘VIC’ as opposed to his full name, Mr. Miller’s application may itself be in violation of Wyoming law,” Gray wrote to Jones.

Wyoming law also requires that candidates running for office use the name they are “generally known” by, but nothing specifically states that a candidate has to list a last name.

Miller said the city should also understand that he’s filling out a form on behalf of VIC, and that he represents VIC’s human qualities in becoming eligible for office. He also believes they are specifically targeting his campaign arbitrarily on not listing a last name because Cheyenne Mayor Patrick Collins didn’t include his middle name on his candidate filing.

Miller said he has no problem adding his last name to VIC’s candidacy “if Chucky wants this,” he said, referring to Gray. He also challenged Gray to a spelling contest with VIC, the AI bot he considers “way smarter than any human.”

Investigation Underway

Jones had no comment on VIC’s candidacy when reached by Cowboy State Daily besides confirming that an investigation is taking place into its legality.

Helping conduct that investigation is Brad Lund, an attorney with the Laramie County Attorney’s Office.

Lund told Cowboy State Daily there are a few different directions that the investigation could go.

“Wyoming law will decide this matter, there’s no question with what we have,” he said. “We have a path, depending on which route we go, the way the law tells us to go.”

Lund wouldn’t say much more, citing attorney-client privilege.

He also wouldn’t answer whether some small changes could be made to VIC’s filing form to make it legal, but did confirm that another legal question raised by the case is whether someone can file a political campaign in Wyoming on behalf of another person.

Lund said the public will get a “clear position” on how the city will rule on the matter when the official ballots are printed for the upcoming election in early July.

If the city rejects VIC’s candidacy altogether, Miller said he plans to file a federal lawsuit.

Leo Wolfson can be reached at

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Leo Wolfson

Politics and Government Reporter