Washington Secretary of State angry over website that threatened elections officials

The since-removed site included a countdown clock with the words ‘your days are numbered’

OLYMPIA — Frustration over the results of November’s general election, and ongoing allegations of widespread voter fraud, have hit home in Washington state.

During the tabulation of Washignton’s 12 electoral votes on Monday, all of which went for President-elect Joseph R. Biden, Secretary of State Kim Wyman struggled at times, choking back tears as she addressed the slate of electors.

Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman has decried a website that threatened several election officials. Photo courtesy Washington Secretary of State’s Office
Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman has decried a website that threatened several election officials. Photo courtesy Washington Secretary of State’s Office

“As you can see this is getting to me today,” Wyman said. “While some people continue to call into question the outcome of this election, average citizens from all walks of life will step up today to exercise their responsibility to perform their constitutional duty to the best of their ability.”

While Wyman didn’t specifically address what was causing her raw emotional state, her office revealed later Monday that they had been made aware of a website targeting several state elections officials as having aided in the “fraudulent election against Trump.”

The site included names and personal information for those officials, including Washington State Elections Director Lori Augino. It also featured photos with cross-hairs superimposed on the faces and a clock counting down next to the words “your days are numbered.”

A website which has since been taken down released personal information and made threats against Lori Augino, elections director for Washington state. Photo courtesy Washington Secretary of State’s Office
A website which has since been taken down released personal information and made threats against Lori Augino, elections director for Washington state. Photo courtesy Washington Secretary of State’s Office

“This continued escalation of harassing and threatening behavior in the public sphere has to stop,” Wyman said in an emailed press release. “Sites like this are appalling, and have no space in our democracy and the peaceful transition of power.”

Clark County Auditor Greg Kimsey called the website “disgusting,” and added that “democracy relies on an informed citizenry.  Websites like this demonstrate the need for more citizens who possess accurate information.”

Clark County Auditor Greg Kimsey. Photo courtesy Clark County Auditor’s Office
Clark County Auditor Greg Kimsey. Photo courtesy Clark County Auditor’s Office

“Washington’s 39 county election officials rose to the challenge, working tirelessly to accurately count more ballots than this state has ever seen and ensure that our election was accessible and secure, in spite of the pandemic,” Wyman continued. “Though my office has yet to receive evidence of massive voter fraud, we take accusations of such seriously. When provided evidence, we work closely with county election officials to ensure instances are investigated and a crime is charged.”

It wasn’t immediately clear who was behind the website. Wyman’s office said the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI had been notified, as well as the Fusion Center in Washington state. 

As of Tuesday morning, the website appeared to have been blocked or taken down.

Augino, who is also president of the National Association of State Election Directors, was apparently targeted after she called the 2020 election “the most secure in American history.”

That prompted the makers of the website to dub her an “enemy of the people.”

During a speech ahead of the electoral college vote in Olympia on Monday, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee decried the ongoing claims of election fraud, and the threats of violence that have accompanied it.

“There is no shame in losing an election,” he said, “but there is shame in being sore losers.”

Inslee’s comments come four days after Loren Culp, the Republican candidate for governor, filed a lawsuit against the Secretary of State, alleging that Wyman, also a Republican, allowed “intolerable voting anomalies,” in several counties, including Clark County.

Culp, who lost to Inslee by 13 percentage points in November, has refused to concede, alleging that as many as 300,000 of the 4,116,894 ballots cast were ineligible. 

Washington Republican gubernatorial candidate Loren Culp is shown here at a campaign event in Camas last July. Photo by Mike Schultz
Washington Republican gubernatorial candidate Loren Culp is shown here at a campaign event in Camas last July. Photo by Mike Schultz

Even if Culp’s campaign were able to prove their allegations, it’s unclear what relief they could expect to receive from the courts. Inslee’s margin of victory was 545,000 votes, nearly twice the amount the Republican is alleging were potentially fraudulent.

While Wyman’s office has declined to comment since the lawsuit was filed, citing pending litigation, she responded to allegations made by Culp’s attorney, Stephen Pidgeon, on Dec. 4.

“No evidence has been presented to suggest that 10,000 ballots were cast for deceased voters, or 300,000 people who moved out of Washington state fraudulently voted as Mr. Pidgeon alleges,” Wyman said. “We have safeguards in place before, during, and after each election, and conduct numerous audits throughout to ensure all election functions and processes are operating properly and accurately.”

Washington’s election results were certified at the state level on Dec. 2. 

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