U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies are gearing up for a panoply of potential threats to the election, including extremist violence, cyber attacks, social media disinformation and voter intimidation.
“I think we’re as prepared as we possibly could be,” one Justice Department official said, while adding that despite months of planning and tabletop exercises, people are “anxious and on edge.”
The FBI’s public corruption and civil rights section will be handling voter and ballot fraud, potential civil rights violations and campaign finance issues, as will the threat to election workers task force. As of a month ago, that task force had received about 1,000 tips, and about 11% of those met the threshold to be investigated as a federal crime.
The FBI said the threats are highest in states in which former President Donald Trump contested the 2020 election results, including Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Nevada and Wisconsin.
Additionally, each FBI field office will deploy two election crime coordinators to handle operational and intelligence components. Those officials will liaise with local and state law enforcement partners to investigate any physical or cyber threats to polling places, among other things.