Administration officials say election security is a 'top priority' ahead of 2020

Administration officials say election security is a 'top priority' ahead of 2020
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Several administration officials Tuesday released a joint statement assuring the public that they are prioritizing election security less than a year away from the 2020 presidential race.

Attorney General William BarrBill BarrTrump administration awarding M in housing grants to human trafficking survivors Trump stokes conspiracy about Epstein death, stands by wishes for Ghislaine Maxwell Democrats' silence on our summer of violence is a tactical blunder MORE, Secretary of Defense Mark EsperMark EsperOvernight Defense: Esper says 'most believe' Beirut explosion was accident, contradicting Trump | Trump later says 'nobody knows yet' what happened in Lebanon | 61-year-old reservist ID'd as fourth military COVID-19 death Trump tempers his description of Beirut explosion as an attack: 'Nobody knows yet' Meadows defends Trump's description of Beirut explosion as an 'attack' MORE, outgoing acting Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin McAleenan, acting director of national intelligence Joseph MaguireJoseph MaguireCongressional Democrats request FBI briefing on foreign election interference efforts Wells Fargo told employees to delete TikTok from work phones Hillicon Valley: Pompeo floats TikTok ban | Civil rights groups slam Facebook after call | Election security funding included in proposal MORE, FBI Director Christopher Wray and others said they have increased the level of federal support to state and local election officials and are prioritizing the sharing of threat intelligence to improve election security. 

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“In an unprecedented level of coordination, the U.S. government is working with all 50 states and U.S. territories, local officials, and private sector partners to identify threats, broadly share information, and protect the democratic process. We remain firm in our commitment to quickly share timely and actionable information, provide support and services, and to defend against any threats to our democracy,” they said in a joint statement. 

The statement, which also comes as Americans in several states cast ballots in local and statewide races, named Russia, China and Iran as adversaries that could possibly seek to undermine next years’ elections.

“Russia, China, Iran, and other foreign malicious actors all will seek to interfere in the voting process or influence voter perceptions. Adversaries may try to accomplish their goals through a variety of means, including social media campaigns, directing disinformation operations or conducting disruptive or destructive cyber-attacks on state and local infrastructure,” the officials said.

“While at this time we have no evidence of a compromise or disruption to election infrastructure that would enable adversaries to prevent voting, change vote counts or disrupt the ability to tally votes, we continue to vigilantly monitor any threats to U.S. elections.”

Beyond their own efforts, the officials urged the public to rely on trusted sources for election information and report any suspicious activity to local or federal officers.

Election security has been a point of contention in Washington since 2016 when Russia meddled in the presidential race to benefit President TrumpDonald John TrumpLincoln Project ad dubs Jared Kushner the 'Secretary of Failure' Pence: Chief Justice Roberts 'has been a disappointment to conservatives' Twitter bans Trump campaign until it deletes tweet with COVID-19 misinformation MORE. It was later revealed that Moscow targeted election systems in all 50 states, though no evidence emerged that any voters were actually changed.