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 BarrWilliam Pelham BarrThe truth about presidential power GOP rep predicts watchdog report on alleged FISA abuses will find 'problems' Barr defends Trump's use of executive authority, slams impeachment hearings MORE, Secretary of Defense Mark EsperMark EsperPentagon denies report that US mulling withdrawal of 4,000 troops from South Korea Pentagon chief: US giving Vietnam surplus ship for coast guard Talks stall on defense costs with South Korea MORE, outgoing acting Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin McAleenan, acting director of national intelligence Joseph MaguireJoseph MaguireLive coverage: Ex-Ukraine ambassador testifies in public impeachment hearing Here are the key players to watch at impeachment hearing Trump has considered firing official who reported whistleblower complaint to Congress: report 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. 


“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 TrumpWatergate prosecutor says that Sondland testimony was 'tipping point' for Trump In private moment with Trump, Justice Kennedy pushed for Kavanaugh Supreme Court nomination: book Obama: 'Everybody needs to chill out' about differences between 2020 candidates MORE. It was later revealed that Moscow targeted election systems in all 50 states, though no evidence emerged that any voters were actually changed.