The US’s top cybersecurity agency publicly debunked President Donald Trump’s latest claims about rigged election results on Wednesday.
As election projections show Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden securing a lead over Trump in the battleground states of Michigan and Wisconsin, the president went on offense and began insisting that mysterious ballots cast for Biden were being found “all over the place” and used to fraudulently swing the race in Biden’s favor.
“They are finding Biden votes all over the place — in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan. So bad for our Country!” Trump wrote in a tweet Wednesday morning.
“They are working hard to make up 500,000 vote advantage in Pennsylvania disappear — ASAP. Likewise, Michigan and others!” he added in a subsequent tweet that Twitter labeled as promoting misinformation about the electoral process.
As Business Insider reported, there is no evidence of widespread voter fraud or election fraud. And given the partisan divide in how Americans chose to vote — Democrats favored voting early and via absentee ballots, while Republicans turned out in larger numbers on Election Day — experts anticipated that the candidate who led the statewide vote in battlegrounds on election night may not be in the lead as additional ballots were counted and processed.
On Wednesday, as Trump ratcheted up his rhetoric claiming the election was rigged against him without evidence, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, the US’s top cybersecurity agency, stepped in.
CISA marked the following claim as a “rumor”: “If results as reported on election night change over the ensuing days or weeks, the process is hacked or compromised, so I can’t trust the results.”
The “reality” is that “election results reporting may occur more slowly than prior years,” CISA said, adding, “This does not indicate there is any problem with the counting process or results. Official results are not certified until all validly cast ballots have been counted, including ballots that are counted after election night.”
In fact, Business Insider previously reported, the 2020 election concluded with very few issues even in the face of a devastating pandemic and a president who routinely elevated conspiracy theories that undermined the process. That’s largely because of the now-widespread use of paper ballots and voting machines with verifiable paper trails, experts said.
And in terms of foreign interference, US officials undertook a wide-ranging effort to warn Americans of attempts by hostile adversaries to meddle with the election. Paul Nakasone, the director of the National Security Agency, also told reporters that in the days and weeks leading up to Election Day, foreign powers interfered less than they had before the 2018 midterm elections.
That said, officials warned of an uptick in foreign interference in the coming days, particularly if the election results are close. The New York Times also reported that officials believed Russia would interfere to help Trump in part by “exacerbating disputes around the results.”
“There is a period of time where we are watching this carefully to see if our adversaries are going to try to take advantage if there is a close vote,” Nakasone said.
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