Washington: Voters Should Beware of 'Malign Foreign Influence' in Primary Election

Washington: Voters Should Beware of ‘Malign Foreign Influence’ in Primary Election

Federal government officials are warning about the possibility of “foreign actors” tampering in the presidential primaries and asking voters across the country to be vigilant against disinformation.

Just prior to Super Tuesday (March 3, 2020), top leaders of the State Department, Department of Defense, Department of Justice, the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI and others issued a rare joint statement on the topics of vote tampering and disinformation.

The primary election in Kane County, of course, is March 17 — and many of the warnings that preceded Super Tuesday apply here.

“Your state or local election official’s office is the most trusted source for election material,” the statement said. “A well-informed and vigilant republic is the best defense against disinformation.”

In Kane County, that trusted sources is the Kane County Clerk’s Office. You can find more information on the Clerk’s Office Election webpage.

Bigwigs who signed the joint statement include Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, U.S. Attorney General William Barr, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf, Acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell, Federal Bureau of Investigation Director Christopher Wray,U.S. Cyber Command Commander and National Security Agency Director Gen. Paul Nakasone, and Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Director Christopher Krebs.

In the statement, officials said they continue to work with all 50 states, U.S. territories, local officials, political parties and private sector partners to keep elections free from foreign interference.

“Americans must also remain aware that foreign actors continue to try to influence public sentiment and shape voter perceptions,” the statement said. “They spread false information and propaganda about political processes and candidates on social media in hopes to cause confusion and create doubt in our system.

“We remain alert and ready to respond to any efforts to disrupt the 2020 elections. We continue to make it clear to foreign actors that any effort to undermine our democratic processes will be met with sharp consequences.

“The level of coordination and communication between the federal government and state, local and private sector partners is stronger than it’s ever been. Our Departments and Agencies are working together in an unprecedented level of commitment and effort to protect our elections and to counter malign foreign influence, but voters have a role to play too.

“We encourage all voters going to the polls to check your voter registration and know ahead of time when to vote, where to vote, what’s on your ballot, and whether your state requires identification.”

SOURCE: Department of Homeland Security news release

What is #PROTECT2020?

#PROTECT2020 is a national call to action initiated by CISA, the lead federal agency responsible for national election security, to enhance the integrity and resilience of the Nation’s election infrastructure, and ensure the confidentiality, truthfulness, and accuracy of the free and fair elections necessary for our American way of life.

This page is designed to be a starting point for resources on election security for the public as well as election officials at all levels.

SOURCE: CISA website

Voting Information on Kane County Website

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