AI Candidate for Mayor in Cheyenne Stirs Controversy


In a groundbreaking yet contentious development, Victor Miller has entered the Cheyenne mayoral race with a unique twist: his AI creation, VIC, is the candidate. VIC, short for Virtual Integrated Citizen, is a ChatGPT-based chatbot designed to bring data-driven governance to Wyoming's capital. However, this innovative approach is facing significant legal challenges.

Victor Miller, a longtime Cheyenne resident, is the human registrant behind VIC’s candidacy. Miller's idea is for VIC to handle all mayoral decisions based on extensive data analysis, claiming it would eliminate human biases and bring efficiency and transparency to city governance​​. VIC's campaign platform focuses on promoting transportation, efficiency, innovation, community collaboration, sustainable growth, economic development, and equity​.

However, the legality of VIC's candidacy is under scrutiny. Wyoming Secretary of State Chuck Gray has argued that Wyoming law requires candidates to be "qualified electors," meaning they must be real people. Gray has formally requested Cheyenne City Clerk Kristina Jones to reject VIC's application on these grounds​​.

Miller contends that his campaign is a legitimate effort to introduce AI into politics, accusing state officials of resisting change out of fear of losing control. He insists that VIC, though an AI, is backed by a team of human collaborators to ensure the human element in decision-making is not lost. This perspective has been met with both intrigue and skepticism among Cheyenne's residents and officials​.

The debate has also reached the Laramie County Attorney’s Office, which is investigating the validity of VIC’s candidacy. Attorney Brad Lund has stated that while VIC's filing is unconventional, the decision will ultimately be based on existing state statutes.

The outcome of this investigation is expected before the official ballots are printed in early July​​.

Incumbent Mayor Patrick Collins has expressed reservations about an AI handling the mayoral role, emphasizing the importance of human judgment in addressing city issues. Collins highlighted instances where human empathy and understanding were crucial in making decisions, such as addressing safety concerns despite contradictory data​.

As Cheyenne braces for this unprecedented election, the controversy surrounding VIC raises fundamental questions about the future of AI in governance and the legal definitions of candidacy. If VIC's application is rejected, Miller has indicated plans to file a federal lawsuit, ensuring this debate will continue to attract national attention​​.


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