US election security groups call 2020 election ‘most secure in American history’

A closeup of Christopher Krebs in front of a small microphone at a congressional hearing.

CISA Director Christopher Krebs

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This story is part of Elections 2020, CNET’s coverage of the voting in November and its aftermath.

The US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency released a joint statement with other election security experts Thursday refuting claims that hackers interfered with vote tallies. The statement, joined by the National Association of Secretaries of State and the National Association of State Election Directors, came hours after a report from Reuters that CISA Director Christopher Krebs believes the White House is planning to fire him.

In the joint statement, elections security officials called the 2020 US presidential election “the most secure in American history,” adding, “there is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised.” The statement was released within hours of a tweet from US President Donald Trump that baselessly claimed ballot systems deleted votes cast for him. Elections experts and fact-checking groups have found the assertion to be false.

Into Thursday evening and Friday morning, Trump continued to tweet false claims that the election was rigged through voting systems. Twitter labeled those tweets as containing “disputed” claims, while noting that Joe Biden is the projected winner of the presidential election.

Krebs’ agency is a division of the US Department of Homeland Security and is in charge of securing the US election system, which is classed as critical infrastructure similar to the nation’s power grid and financial system. The CISA has run a website during the 2020 election called Rumor Control to debunk false claims of election hacking and fraud. According to Reuters, the CISA has pushed back on demands from the White House to edit or delete information from the website that debunked false claims of widespread voter fraud.

Neither the White House nor the CISA responded to a request for comment. On Twitter, Virginia Sen. Mark Warner praised Krebs’ work at the CISA. “He is one of the few people in this Administration respected by everyone on both sides of the aisle. There is no possible justification to remove him from office,” Warner, a Democrat, said in the tweet.

A joint statement by several election security organizations, including the US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, called the 2020 US general election “the most secure in American history.”


Trump and his representatives have made several other unfounded claims of voter fraud, which election officials, witnesses and members of the news media have refuted as false. Among the broader false claims refuted by the Rumor Control website are rumors that votes from dead people have been counted, or that bad actors can alter vote totals after ballots are counted.

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Cybersecurity experts see false claims that aim to delegitimize elections as one of the biggest threats to election security this year. Krebs warned this summer that baseless rumors questioning the legitimacy of the election would be rampant after votes were cast, asking attendees of a cybersecurity conference to “think before you share.”

Elections security experts also said misinformation about fraud and hacking would likely proliferate after votes were cast, because voters would be left waiting for days while election agencies counted the unprecedented number of absentee ballots requested during the coronavirus pandemic this year.

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