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U.S. Government Warns of Continuous Election Meddling Efforts

Foreign actors continue to attempt to interfere with the election process, multiple United States departments and agencies warned in a joint statement released ahead of Tuesday’s presidential primaries.

Foreign actors continue to attempt to interfere with the election process, multiple United States departments and agencies warned in a joint statement released ahead of Tuesday’s presidential primaries.

Millions are expected to cast their votes in more than a dozen states and territories, and ‘Super Tuesday’ marks the day when the largest number of individuals head to the polls compared to any other day of the primary season.

“Americans must also remain aware that foreign actors continue to try to influence public sentiment and shape voter perceptions,” reads the joint statement from the Department of State, Department of Defense, Department of Justice, Department of Homeland Security, Director of National Intelligence, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, National Security Agency, and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.

Threat actors, they say, use social media to spread false information and propaganda about political candidates and processes, with the sole goal of causing confusion and casting doubt in the 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 statement reads.

The agencies say they will work together with all 50 states, U.S. territories, local officials, political parties and private sector partners to ensure no meddling in the elections.

“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,” the departments and agencies say.

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Voters are encouraged to check their voter registration when going to polls, as well as to make sure they know ahead of time when and where to vote, what’s on their ballot, and whether identification is required in their state.

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

Related: 2016 Again? Russia Back to Stirring Chaos in U.S. Election

Related: FBI Official: Russia Wants to See US ‘Tear Ourselves Apart’

Related: Election Officials Get Training Before 2020 Voting Begins

Written By

Ionut Arghire is an international correspondent for SecurityWeek.

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