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FBI warning voters about election crimes ahead of Nov. election

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Posted at 8:05 PM, Sep 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-24 21:05:29-04

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is warning voters about federal election crimes before polls open on November 3.

“Every year, Americans pick their leaders and make their voices heard through elections,” said Calvin Shivers, assistant director for the Criminal Investigative Division. “Those elections must remain free and fair to ensure voters' voices are truly heard. As Americans get ready to vote, the FBI is asking each citizen to remain vigilant and report any suspected criminal scheme targeting voters to the FBI immediately.”

According to the FBI, election crimes can fall into one of four broad categories: ballot fraud, campaign finance violations, patronage offenses, and civil rights violations (such as voter suppression). While each state and local government have the constitutional authority and responsibility to manage elections, crimes become federal when a ballot includes one or more federal candidates, or if an election or polling place abuses its office, just to name a few.

Examples of federal crimes include, but are not limited to:

  • Giving false information when registering to vote
  • Voting more than once
  • Conduit contributions
  • Threatening voters with physical or financial harm

The FBI warns voters to only get information from trusted sources, such as official notices from election offices, and to verify that any information is accurate.

Voters should also be aware of fraudulent political action committees, also known as Scam PACs. Find more information on those here.

The FBI and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) also issued a warning on attempts by cyber actors to compromise election infrastructure. They say these attacks could slow, but would not prevent, voting. It's important to note no incidents have been identified to date that are capable of preventing Americans to vote.

Any suspicious activity or potential crime should be reported to the FBI immediately.

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