Cheyenne City Clerk Says Artificial Intelligence Candidate For Mayor Is OK For Election

The city clerk of Cheyenne on Thursday said she disagreed with Secretary of State Chuck Gray over the legitimacy of a mayoral candidate who is powered by artificial intelligence. She said VIC is legit and can participate in the city's election.

Leo Wolfson

June 13, 20244 min read

VIC is in 6 13 24
(Cowboy State Daily Staff)

The city of Cheyenne’s chief election official is standing up for an artificial intelligent (AI) bot named VIC in its campaign for mayor.

Cheyenne City Clerk Kristina Jones sent a letter to Secretary of State Chuck Gray on Wednesday saying she disagrees with Gray’s opinion that the campaign of Wyoming’s first AI political candidate, a computer-generated persona named VIC, should be shut down almost as soon as it started.

Gray sent Jones a letter on Monday saying VIC is ineligible for the election because the bot is neither a qualified elector nor a registered voter in Wyoming.

“I respectfully disagree with your conclusion,” Jones wrote to Gray.

Jones’ Analysis

It was Jones who certified VIC’s campaign on May 31. VIC is an acronym for Virtual Integrated Citizen.

“Since that certification, I have become aware that Mr. (Victor) Miller has given multiple interviews to state media outlets suggesting that an artificial intelligence robot (AI Bot) and not him, is the true candidate,” Jones wrote. “These campaign statements do not change my analysis.”

Jones argues that VIC’s campaign is actually that of human and Cheyenne resident Victor Miller, who’s using the AI persona to dictate his decisions if elected into office. It was Miller who filled out all the paperwork in person for this campaign and provided his personal contact information. Miller also meets the statutory definition of “candidate” under Wyoming law and is a qualified elector.

Because Miller declared VIC’s campaign as one in the same as himself, Jones argues it’s legitimate for election certification.

“Even if Mr. Miller has made the decision to receive direction from an AI Bot, he is still the candidate for election per his application,” Jones wrote.

Trouble With The Name

The city candidacy form directs people to “print or type your name exactly as you wish it to appear on the ballot.”

What complicates matters is the fact that Miller didn’t sign his legal name to the candidacy. If he had written his own name, Gray would likely have little ground to stand on as far as challenging the campaign.

But instead he wrote “Vic” for the candidate’s name, which is what’s listed on the city of Cheyenne website for mayoral candidates.

Jones wrote that Miller insisted that his name appear on the ballot as “Vic.”

“The municipal clerk is not directed to interfere with the candidate’s decision,” she wrote, adding that authority only exists with county or state election officials.

Gray was clear in his letter that the use of the bot’s name was a deal-breaker. Under Wyoming law, using a fictitious name or pseudonym on a candidate form is not allowed.

“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.

The Laramie County Attorney’s office is investigating VIC’s candidacy and whether it’s legal. It will be up to Laramie County to decide if VIC’s campaign will be canceled, allowed to continue as is or proceed with a possible name change. A decision on the matter is expected by early July.

Who’s Calling The Shots?

Ultimately, nearly all lawmakers rely on outside resources and input to make their decisions. If Miller had put his own name on the candidate filing form while alerting the public how he would be making his decisions through VIC, there would likely be very little legal ground to prevent him from doing so.

The case itself presents interesting legal questions that may not be fully addressed in law until upcoming legislative sessions.

Most importantly, what is the role that AI can play in Wyoming elections and whether someone can file a campaign for someone else? As AI grows in its role in modern society, the technology will continue to become more powerful and continue to raise questions about where its use should be limited.

There’s also ethical questions about a computer making decisions for the public.

Leo Wolfson can be reached at

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Leo Wolfson

Politics and Government Reporter