FBI Director Christopher Wray testified before senators Thursday that there’s been no evidence of a voter fraud effort targeting mail-in or other ballots — despite repeated claims by President Donald Trump.
“We have not seen historically any kind of coordinated national voter fraud effort in a major election — whether it’s by mail or otherwise,” Wray testified before the Senate Homeland Security Committee.
Any foreign assault on mail-in ballots — which Trump has very nearly classified as a foregone conclusion — would be a “major challenge for an adversary,” he testified, adding, “Americans must have confidence in our voting system and our election infrastructure. We are not going to tolerate foreign interference in our elections.”
Wray said the FBI would take any “voter fraud and voter suppression ... seriously” and is committed to investigating any situations that arise.
Wray last week, however, testified before the House Homeland Security Committee that Russia is actively involved in a disinformation state media and social media campaign to influence voters and discredit Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden in a determined effort to sway the election for Trump. The Kremlin carried out a similar campaign in 2016 in a bid to boost support for Trump over Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.
“We certainly have seen very active, very active efforts by the Russians to influence our election in 2020 through what I would call more the maligned foreign influence side of things ― social media, use of proxies, state media, online journals, etc. ― in an effort to both sow divisiveness and discord and ... primarily to denigrate Vice President Biden and what the Russians see as kind of an anti-Russian establishment,” he testified.
Assessments by other intelligence agencies have supported Wray’s conclusion.
The FBI has seen no evidence of an attack on actual votes — though fraud has been detected in the past “at the local level from time to time,” Wray told senators.
Trump was furious about Wray’s testimony last week about Russian interference in the election to help him. “I did not like his answers,” he told reporters. “The big problem is China,” he added, without offering any evidence. “Why he doesn’t want to say that ... certainly bothers me.”
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BEFORE YOU GO
How to vote
Vote-by-mail ballot request deadline: Varies by state
For the Nov 3 election: States are making it easier for citizens to vote absentee by mail this year due to the coronavirus. Each state has its own rules for mail-in absentee voting. Visit your state election office website to find out if you can vote by mail.Get more informationTrack ballot status
In-person early voting dates: Varies by state
Sometimes circumstances make it hard or impossible for you to vote on Election Day. But your state may let you vote during a designated early voting period. You don't need an excuse to vote early. Visit your state election office website to find out whether they offer early voting.My Election Office
General Election: Nov 3, 2020
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