Washington: The Department of Homeland Security and Justice said on Tuesday that Russia and Iran targeted electoral infrastructure during the 2020 U.S. voting period, but did not affect any results.
The government agency said in a joint report: “The widespread Russian and Iranian campaigns targeting multiple critical infrastructure areas have indeed compromised the security of multiple networks that manage certain electoral functions.”
“But they did not materially affect the integrity of voter data, voting ability, ballot lists, or timely delivery of election results.”
The report said that actors under the governments of Russia, Iran and China have also “seriously affected” the security of networks related to U.S. political organizations, candidates, and election campaigns.
It said: “Several such actors have collected at least some of the information they may have released in influence operations, but in the end we did not see any such material being deployed, modified or destroyed.”
The report said, “There is no evidence that any foreign government actors have prevented voting, altered the votes, or undermined the ability of voting or conveying the results of the election.”
It specifically rejected the conspiracy theory put forward by lawyers for the campaign of former President Donald Trump that a voting tabulation company had ties to Venezuela and manipulated the election results in favor of his opponent Joe Biden. (Joe Biden).
The report said that public requests have been investigated and “determined that they are not credible.”
The authors of the report said that they are only concerned with the impact of foreign government activities on the security and integrity of the election infrastructure.
“It did not address the effect of foreign government activity on public perception or the behavior of any voters, nor did it address the impact of non-state foreign actors like cybercriminals,” they said.
Democratic Senator Mark Warner, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said the report “highlights the ongoing and persistent efforts by our adversaries to influence our elections.”
“Russia, in particular, has expended real effort, not just in 2020, but also as we all recall in 2016, to influence election results,” Warner said.
“The problem of foreign actors trying to influence the American electorate is not going away and, given the current partisan divides in this country, may find fertile ground in which to grow in the future,” he said.