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Hundreds of Election Officials Receive Update from Justice Department’s Election Threats Task Force

The task force has reviewed over 1,000 contacts reported as hostile or harassing by the election community; 11% met the threshold for a federal criminal investigation.

Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite, Jr. convened a virtual discussion today with a bipartisan group of approximately 750 election officials and workers to provide an update on the work of the Justice Department’s Election Threats Task Force.

Assistant Attorney General Polite thanked the election community for continuing to prioritize this national public safety issue, for engaging directly with the task force over the past year, and stressed the importance that those lines of communication stay open ahead of election season. He also reminded the election community of the individual points of contact they have in every FBI field office in the country.

Following Assistant Attorney General Polite’s remarks, the task force shared intelligence, data, and analysis stemming from their first year of work. This included:

  • The task force has reviewed over 1,000 contacts reported as hostile or harassing by the election community.
  • Approximately 11% of those contacts met the threshold for a federal criminal investigation. The remaining reported contacts did not provide a predication for a federal criminal investigation. While many of the contacts were often hostile, harassing, and abusive towards election officials, they did not include a threat of unlawful violence.
  • In investigations where the source of a reported contact was identified, in 50% of the matters the source contacted the victim on multiple occasions. These investigations accordingly encompassed multiple contacts. The number of individual investigations is less than 5% of the total number of reported contacts.
  • The task force has charged four federal cases and joined another case that was charged prior to the establishment of the task force. There have also been multiple state prosecutions to date. The task force anticipates additional prosecutions in the near future.
  • Election officials in states with close elections and postelection contests were more likely to receive threats. 58% of the total of potentially criminal threats were in states that underwent 2020 post-election lawsuits, recounts, and audits, such as Arizona, Georgia, Colorado, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Nevada, and Wisconsin.

The task force also briefed the election community on available funds for enhanced security for election offices, and the availability of additional resources from both academic and non-governmental organizations.

Joining Assistant Attorney General Polite in the briefing today was Principal Deputy Chief John Keller of the Justice Department’s Public Integrity Section, FBI Assistant Director Luis Quesada, and FBI Public Corruption and Civil Rights Section Chief Joseph Rothrock.

Read more at the Justice Department

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The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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