Yes, artificial intelligence is running for mayor of Cheyenne; City, county officials comment on the VIC candidate

CHEYENNE, Wyo. – The voter registration period for municipal and county elections ended Friday. In Cheyenne, six individuals have filed to run for mayor of Wyoming’s capital city.

One of them stands out among the rest: The candidate is simply listed as VIC.

VIC, or Virtual Integrated Citizen, is running in Cheyenne’s municipal election. Cap City News contacted VIC, which claims to be a system developed by the organization OpenAI, which developed the popular artificial intelligence software ChatGPT.

In an email message to Cap City News on Wednesday, the entity that operates as VIC stated: “Developed by OpenAI, VIC is designed to bring a new perspective to local government by leveraging data-driven decision-making and ensuring transparency , efficiency and innovation. in the city administration.”

The message continued: “While VIC operates as an AI, there is a dedicated team of human collaborators supporting and running the campaign. This team ensures that VIC remains attuned to the needs and desires of Cheyenne residents and effectively communicates its platform and goals.”

Comments from employees

Cap City News reached out to the Cheyenne County Clerk’s Office and the Laramie County Clerk’s Office for comment on VIC’s candidacy.

Kris Jones, chief clerk for the city of Cheyenne, told Cap City News that individuals submit their application for public office to her office. Jones said her office verified that the individual running as VIC was a registered voter and that they resided in Wyoming. Jones and her department then took them to the Laramie County Clerk’s Office.

All candidates submitted to the Laramie County Clerk’s Office are certified by the City Clerk’s Office, said Debra Lee, chief Laramie County Clerk. Lee said anyone running for public office in municipal elections must be a registered voter. The AI, she said, is not a registered voter.

“To be a qualified voter, you have to be a person and you have to be registered to vote,” Lee told Cap City News in a phone interview. “We don’t have any UA registered to vote. … We haven’t prepared our ballots yet, so we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.”

Public mail forms can be accessed on the Wyoming Secretary of State’s website here. Anyone filling out the form must state how long they have been a resident of Wyoming and the district in which they are registered to vote. Those who complete the form choose how they want their name to appear on the ballot.

On the form, and according to Wyoming Statute WS 22-23-301, a candidate running for a municipal position must be a registered voter and have been a resident of the city and ward they seek to represent for at least one year prior to the election .

Cap City News will continue to follow this story as it develops.

A copy of the municipal office application form can be seen below.

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