Maryland Officials Urge Residents To Report Efforts to Impede Access to the Polls

As America grows nearer to election day and early voting begins in Maryland, federal, state and local partners are coordinating on election security measures to ensure a free and fair election.

Fair elections are critical to our democracy. Americans rightfully expect our electoral system to be secure and accurate. A confident public is more likely to vote, trust the outcome, and feel their vote made a difference.

Federal, state and local partners are working closely with each other so everyone involved with safeguarding the election has the information and resources necessary to respond in a timely manner to any violations that may arise.

“Elections are the cornerstone of our democracy, and it is our shared responsibility to ensure Marylanders are able to cast their vote safely and securely,” said Maryland Governor Larry Hogan. “Over the last several weeks, we have been engaged in planning exercises with our federal partners to discuss potential issues and scenarios. We will continue to closely coordinate our efforts through Election Day. Marylanders can be confident in the integrity of our electoral system.”

“While the Maryland State Board of Elections is responsible for insuring the integrity of the election, state and federal law enforcement are working together to address efforts to misinform or intimidate voters,” said U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur, “The right to vote is one of the most important rights exercised by Americans.  We will not tolerate threatening conduct that seeks to intimidate, harass or dissuade Americans from exercising their right to vote. I urge all Marylanders to report to law enforcement any efforts to infringe on their right or another person’s right to vote.  If you see something, say something.”

The FBI is the primary investigative agency responsible for malicious cyber activity against election infrastructure, malign foreign influence operations, and election-related crimes, like voter fraud and voter suppression.

“The FBI recognizes that we are only as strong as our partnerships,” said Jennifer C. Boone, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Baltimore Field Office. “That is why, for months, we have been coordinating important election security conversations and exercises between federal, state and local partners in Maryland to share information, bolster security, and identify and disrupt any threats.”

The Maryland State Police stand ready to respond, if necessary, to any election day disruptions.

“We will continue to work with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies to coordinate information about and our response to any public safety threats related to voting in Maryland,” Maryland State Police Superintendent Colonel Woodrow W. Jones III, said.  “Our goal is to ensure a safe opportunity for all to exercise this important American right.”  

Homeland Security Investigations leverages its cyber portfolio and broad investigative authority to prevent, disrupt, and counter cyber threats.

“Homeland Security Investigations is the largest and primary investigative arm of the Department of Homeland Security, protecting not just physical borders, but digital borders,” said John Eisert, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations’ Baltimore field office. “We stand ready with our partners at the FBI, U.S. Attorney’s Office, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and the State of Maryland to preserve the integrity of our election systems.”

The U.S. Postal Inspection Service, as the federal law enforcement and security arm of the Postal Service, is responsible for defending the nation’s mail system from illegal or dangerous use. “U.S. Postal Inspectors are working closely with our federal, state and local law enforcement partners to actively identify attempts to compromise the mail system our Nation depends upon during this critical time,” said Peter Rendina, Inspector in Charge of the Washington Division of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. “U.S. Postal Inspectors are committed to ensuring the U.S. Mail is a safe and secure method for voters to participate in America’s elections.”

While at this time there is no evidence of a compromise or disruption to election infrastructure that would enable adversaries to prevent voting, change vote counts, or disrupt the ability to tally votes in Maryland, we continue to vigilantly monitor any threats to U.S. elections. As a reminder, tampering with a ballot box is a federal offense.

The U.S. government will defend our democracy and maintain transparency with the American public about our efforts. An informed public is a resilient public. Marylanders should go to trusted sources for election information, such as the Maryland State Board of Elections website and other local election officials. We encourage every American to report any suspicious activity to their local officials, the FBI, or DHS.