Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf visits several North Carolina election officials and partners on Feb. 27, 2020. (DHS photo by Tara A. Molle)

DHS, DOJ: No Evidence Found That a Foreign Government Manipulated Any Election Results

The Department of Justice (DOJ), and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), including the FBI and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), released today key findings and recommendations from a joint report to the President issued last month on the impact of foreign governments and their agents on the security and integrity of the 2020 U.S. federal elections.

The Departments investigated multiple public claims that one or more foreign governments owned, directed, or controlled election infrastructure used in the 2020 federal elections; implemented a scheme to manipulate election infrastructure; or tallied, changed, or otherwise manipulated vote counts. The Departments found that those claims were not credible.

These conclusions are part of a classified report to the President prepared by DOJ and DHS pursuant to section 1(b) of Executive Order 13848, Imposing Certain Sanctions in the Event of Foreign Influence in a United States Election (the EO), issued on Sept. 12, 2018. Although the 1(b) report notes that Russian, Chinese, and Iranian government-affiliated actors materially impacted the security of certain networks during the 2020 federal elections, the Departments found no evidence that any foreign government-affiliated actor manipulated election results or otherwise compromised the integrity of the 2020 federal elections.

The 1(b) report relied on a classified assessment — prepared by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), pursuant to section 1(a) of the EO, about any information indicating that a foreign government acted with the intent or purpose of interfering in the 2020 U.S. federal elections. Whereas the 1(a) report discusses efforts to influence public perceptions and opinion, the scope of the 1(b) report only includes efforts to compromise the security or integrity of election infrastructure or infrastructure pertaining to political organizations, candidates, or campaigns used in the 2020 U.S. federal elections. The 1(b) report does not discuss efforts to sway voters or influence opinion.

During the 2020 election cycle, federal, state, local, tribal, territorial, non-governmental, and private sector partners nationwide worked together in unprecedented ways to combat foreign interference efforts and support election officials, political organizations, campaigns, and candidates in safeguarding their infrastructure. The Departments remain committed to continuously strengthening the nation’s cybersecurity, critical infrastructure, supply chain risk management, public-private partnerships, and public messaging to enhance the resiliency of our democratic institutions.

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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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