A coalition of leading federal and state election officials, along with top voting equipment manufacturers, on Thursday unequivocally stated that there was “no evidence” that any voting system was compromised or votes lost during the recent general election.
"The November 3rd election was the most secure in American history. Right now, across the country, election officials are reviewing and double checking the entire election process prior to finalizing the result,” the executive committee of the Election Infrastructure Government Coordinating Council and the Election Infrastructure Sector Coordinating Council said in a joint statement Thursday.
“There is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised,” the officials emphasized.
The officials — who include Election Assistance Commission Chairman Benjamin Hovland and New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver (D) — noted that the security of the process was high as states worked to certify vote counts.
“When states have close elections, many will recount ballots,” the officials said. “All of the states with close results in the 2020 presidential race have paper records of each vote, allowing the ability to go back and count each ballot if necessary. This is an added benefit for security and resilience. This process allows for the identification and correction of any mistakes or errors.”
The statement from the election officials and stakeholders was put out following over a week of pushback by many Republicans over the results of the presidential election, and as President TrumpDonald TrumpSenate rejects attempt to block Biden's Saudi arms sale Crenshaw slams House Freedom Caucus members as 'grifters,' 'performance artists' Senate confirms Biden's nominee to lead Customs and Border Protection MORE has refused to concede to President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenHouse passes 8B defense policy bill House approves bill to ease passage of debt limit hike Senate rejects attempt to block Biden's Saudi arms sale MORE due to unsubstantiated claims of widespread voter fraud.
The president's campaign has also mounted legal challenges in battleground states including Michigan, Pennsylvania and Georgia to contest election results. On Tuesday, Trump's campaign team filed a lawsuit in federal court in Michigan to stop the state from certifying its final vote count until allegations of irregularities are addressed.
The campaign has also signaled that it would request a recount in Wisconsin, which Biden was projected to win by a narrow margin the day after Nov. 3.
Meagan Wolfe, the top election official in Wisconsin, told The Associated Press on Thursday that after certifying votes in 55 out of 72 counties, there was no evidence of voter fraud swaying the election results.
“It’s rare to see any sort of significant changes,” Wolfe told the AP. “There’s always minor errors. ... We’re certainly not seeing anything unusual."
Other members of the executive committee who signed on to the joint statement included Bob Kolasky, the assistant director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), National Association of State Election Directors President Lori Augino and David Stafford, the supervisor of elections in Escambia County, Fla.
Members of the Election Infrastructure Coordinating Council also expressed confidence in the vote, including top officials from Hart InterCivic and Election Systems & Software — two of the three largest voting equipment manufacturers in the U.S. — and from Democracy Works, Unisyn Voting Solutions and the Electronic Registration Information Center.
The contentious debate over the results of the presidential election, which major news networks called for Biden on Saturday, has spurred disinformation and misinformation online. Twitter said Thursday that it had labeled more than 300,000 posts for being “potentially misleading and disputed” in the two weeks around the general election.
The officials addressed the ongoing misinformation and disinformation around the election process, encouraging voters to turn to election officials as “trusted voices” for accurate information.
“While we know there are many unfounded claims and opportunities for misinformation about the process of our elections, we can assure you we have the utmost confidence in the security and integrity of our elections, and you should too,” the coalition said.
Federal, state and local election officials have worked over the past four years to increase the security of the voting process after Russian agents targeted and successfully accessed voter registration data in some U.S. states ahead of the 2016 presidential election.
Election Day last week was mostly quiet on the security front, with only a few glitches reported, and none due to a major hacking incident.
“After millions of Americans voted, we have no evidence any foreign adversary was capable of preventing Americans from voting or changing vote tallies,” CISA Director Christopher Krebs said in a statement following Election Day.
The Hill confirmed Thursday that Krebs was expecting to be fired due to reports around White House grievances over the CISA “rumor control” page, which was set up to debunk misinformation and disinformation around the election process.
While Krebs officially remains at his post as of Thursday night, top CISA official Bryan Ware will step down from his position Friday, with Reuters reporting the White House directed him to do so earlier this week.