Federal authorities reaffirmed their confidence in the U.S. election system Tuesday, despite the persistent foreign threat and President Donald Trump’s repeated claims that the process is “rigged” and vulnerable to mass voter fraud.
William Evanina, director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center said the “election system remains resilient” in a video message with directors of the FBI, National Security Agency and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.
“To be clear, it would be very difficult for adversaries to interfere with, or manipulate, voting results at scale,” Evanina said.
Evanina and his colleagues acknowledged that foreign adversaries were continuing to spread disinformation while engaging in operations in attempts to sway voters.
“There’s been a lot of talk about efforts to hack our elections over the last four years and some of you might be wondering whether the 2020 elections will be secure,” said Chris Krebs, director of the Cyber Security and Infrastructure Security Agency. “Well, I’m here to tell you that my confidence in the security of your vote has never been higher.
“That’s because of an all-of-nation, unprecedented election security effort over the last several years,” Krebs said.
The officials made no reference to the repeated criticisms from Trump, who during last week’s debate with Democratic nominee Joe Biden, referred to the mail-in voting system as “a disaster.”
The president has made the integrity of the election a constant theme of his re-election campaign, despite no evidence that the system has been compromised by large-scale fraud, and declining to commit to a peaceful transfer of power should he lose.
Last month, FBI Director Christopher Wray told a congressional committee that authorities had “not seen, historically, any kind of coordinated national voter fraud effort in a major election, whether it’s by mail or otherwise.”
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Wray’s testimony rankled White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, who called for a closer examination of election-related complaints.
In Tuesday’s video, Wray maintained that federal authorities were working closely with state and local officials and would “aggressively investigate and work with our partners to take appropriate action, including seeking criminal charges where warranted.”
“Rest assured that the security of the election – and safeguarding your vote – is and will continue to be one of our highest priorities,” Wray said.