As early voting kicks off today across Maryland, counties are working closely with state and federal partners to maintain the integrity of state and local election systems and data.
“Elections are the cornerstone of our democracy, and it is our shared responsibility to ensure Marylanders are able to cast their vote safely and securely,” said Governor Hogan. “Over the last several weeks, we have been engaged in planning exercises with our federal partners to discuss potential issues and scenarios. We will continue to closely coordinate our efforts through Election Day. Marylanders can be confident in the integrity of our electoral system.”
While at this time there is no evidence of a compromise or disruption to election infrastructure that would enable adversaries to deter voting, change vote counts, or disrupt the ability to tally votes in Maryland, election officials are urging residents to remain vigilant and report to law enforcement any efforts to impede access to the polls or misinform voters.
According to a press release from Governor Hogan:
Governor Larry Hogan today joined U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur, FBI Baltimore Special Agent in Charge Jennifer C. Boone, Maryland State Police Superintendent Colonel Woodrow W. Jones III, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations’ Baltimore field office John Eisert, and Inspector in Charge, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Washington Division Peter R. Rendina to update Marylanders on the security of the 2020 election and to encourage residents and county officials to report any efforts to intimidate or misinform voters.
“While the Maryland State Board of Elections is responsible for ensuring the integrity of the election, state and federal law enforcement are working together to address efforts to misinform or intimidate voters,” said U.S. Attorney Hur. “The right to vote is one of the most important rights exercised by Americans. We will not tolerate threatening conduct that seeks to intimidate, harass, or dissuade Americans from exercising their right to vote. I urge all Marylanders to report to law enforcement any efforts to infringe on their right or another person’s right to vote. If you see something, say something.”
The FBI is the primary investigative agency responsible for malicious cyber activity against election infrastructure, malign foreign influence operations, and election-related crimes like voter fraud and voter suppression.
“The FBI recognizes that we are only as strong as our partnerships,” said Special Agent Boone. “That is why, for months, we have been coordinating important election security conversations and exercises between federal, state, and local partners in Maryland to share information, bolster security, and identify and disrupt any threats.”
The Maryland State Police stand ready to respond to any Election Day disruptions.
“We will continue to work with local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies to coordinate information about, and our response to, any public safety threats related to voting in Maryland,” said Superintendent Jones. “Our goal is to ensure a safe opportunity for all to exercise this important American right.”
Homeland Security Investigations leverages its cyber portfolio and broad investigative authority to prevent, disrupt, and counter cyber threats.
“Homeland Security Investigations is the largest and primary investigative arm of the Department of Homeland Security, protecting not just physical borders, but digital borders,” said Special Agent Eisert. “We stand ready with our partners at the FBI, U.S. Attorney’s Office, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and the State of Maryland to preserve the integrity of our election systems.”
The U.S. Postal Inspection Service, as the federal law enforcement and security arm of the Postal Service, is responsible for defending the nation’s mail system from illegal or dangerous use.
“U.S. postal inspectors are working closely with our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners to actively identify attempts to compromise the mail system our nation depends upon during this critical time,” said Inspector Rendina. “U.S. postal inspectors are committed to ensuring U.S. mail is a safe and secure method for voters to participate in America’s elections.”
While at this time there is no evidence of a compromise or disruption to election infrastructure that would enable adversaries to prevent voting, change vote counts, or disrupt the ability to tally votes in Maryland, state and federal partners continue to vigilantly monitor any threats to U.S. elections.
Marylanders should seek trusted sources for election information, such as the Maryland State Board of Elections website and the 24 local boards of elections. Voters are encouraged to report any suspicious activity to their local officials, the FBI, or DHS.
Stay tuned to Conduit Street for more information.
Previous Conduit Street Coverage: Here’s Everything You Need to Know About Voting in the 2020 General Election