Election Was Most Secure in American History, US Officials Say

November 13, 2020by Alyza Sebenius, Bloomberg News
U.S. Election Assistance Commissioner Tom Hicks, left, Christopher Krebs, director of the Department of Homeland Security Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, middle, and Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose discuss election security. (Randy Ludlow/Columbus Dispatch/TNS)

WASHINGTON — State and federal election officials, along with experts in the private sector, said they had “utmost confidence in the security and integrity” of the Nov. 3 vote, as President Donald Trump continues to make unfounded claims of fraud and key security officials involved in protecting elections leave the administration or expect to be fired.

“The Nov. 3rd election was the most secure in American history,” the officials said in a statement Thursday. “There is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised.”

The statement acknowledged the “many unfounded claims and opportunities for misinformation about the process of our elections” and urged Americans to turn to election administrators and officials for accurate information.

The statement was signed by officials from the Elections Infrastructure Government Coordinating Council, which shares information among state, local and federal officials, and the Election Infrastructure Sector Coordinating Council, which includes election infrastructure owners and operators.

Among the 10 signatories were Benjamin Hovland, who chairs the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, and Bob Kolasky, the assistant director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, part of the Department of Homeland Security.

Key officials at the cybersecurity agency, including its head, Christopher Krebs, are stepping down or expecting to get fired as Trump refuses to concede.

Krebs, who has enjoyed bipartisan support for his role in helping run secure U.S. elections in 2018 and 2020, has told associates he expects to be dismissed, according to three people familiar with internal discussions.

His departure would follow the resignation of Bryan Ware, assistant director for cybersecurity at CISA, who resigned on Thursday morning after about two years at the agency. In addition, Valerie Boyd, the assistant secretary for international affairs at the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees CISA, has also left, according to two other people.

Krebs and Ware are Trump appointees.

“I commend CISA on remaining steadfast in its commitment to providing accurate information to the public, including its statement today that there is no evidence that any election system was compromised last week,” Rep. Bennie Thompson, the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee and a Mississippi Democrat, said in a statement on Thursday night.

Thompson added, however, that “there are rumors the president may be cleaning house at CISA, with one high-level official reportedly asked to resign already. This is dangerous.”

___

(c)2020 Bloomberg News

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC

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