FBI on the case for election security

Tracking fraud and misinformation
Posted at 7:17 PM, Sep 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-30 22:17:31-04

TUCSON, Ariz. - Claims of voter fraud are one of the hottest topics for Election 2020. There is so much discussion over whether this year’s election will be fair and honest that the local office of the FBI is telling us what it does to try to keep elections fair.

Here is what the FBI does not do: It does not try to sort out all the claims and counterclaims about candidates that burn through the airways and social media.

Agents are watching for the sort of lies and frauds that interfere with your right to vote. Steven Patterson, the Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Tucson Office says a lot of that happens on social media, email and texts.

“By posting inaccurate information about Election Day, giving the wrong day wrong polling locations or telling people that they can vote by email or text.”

Patterson says it’s critical to get your information only from credible authorities like the Arizona Secretary of State or the Pima County Recorder.

The FBI watches for Federal election crimes like:

-Voter intimidation

-Non-citizens trying to vote

-Vote buying, when you’re bribed to vote a certain way

-Voting more than once

-Or corrupt election officials changing vote totals

Agents also enforce crimes like:

-Excessive contributions. For a person it’s $2800 per candidate, per election

-Straw donors where you ask someone else to donate and you pay them back

-Foreign donors. It is okay for green card holders to donate.

You can learn more about protecting yourself from election crimes at a webpage the FBI prepared. You can reach it at this link.

With so much attention on mail ballots, the FBI works with the U.S. Postal Service on election security.

Patterson says, “We work with the Postal Inspectors office, as part of our partnership. And again, working with the state and the county is, as well. So I'm standing here today, but we are all working in partnership, and very much aware of trying to ensure that we are keeping everything as safe and smooth as it's been going for the last few hundred years.

If you feel you know of an election violation you can contact the FBI's Agent assigned to election investigations by calling 623-466-1999.