Seven states across the country continue to experience an unusual level of threats against election workers, senior FBI officials said at a briefing Monday.

Those states — Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Nevada and Wisconsin — are all states where the 2020 election results have been called into question, officials said. President Biden won each of these states. FBI officials discuss how to deal with these threats as state officials in 8,800 constituencies prepare to by-elections Next month.

Since June 2021, the FBI has received more than 1,000 reports of threats against election workers, according to the agency. Approximately 11% of these tips led to an FBI investigation.

FBI officials say the majority of threats come via email, election-related websites and phone calls, while a smaller number of threats are made in person.

Federal law enforcement officials continue to monitor adversaries’ “foreign malicious influence” campaigns, as they have since 2016. Senior FBI officials said Russia and China remain the “prime culprits.” However, federal investigators are not currently aware of any cyber campaigns targeting the election.

The country’s top election security official broke down in a recent interview as she discussed the crackdown on election officials.

“It’s annoying,” said Kim Wyman, senior director of the National Cyber ​​Security and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). told CBS News in her first television interview since assuming the new role. “Threats like ‘we’ll hang you.’ And “I hope someone puts a bullet in your head.”

CBS News cybersecurity expert and analyst, former CISA director Chris Krebs said that threats against election workers require more attention.

“We really need local law enforcement, I think, to be more involved in investigating threats, protecting the voters themselves, making sure they’re not being tampered with, or their public information or their personal contact information is not being released so they can get … they’re getting more threats,” Krebs told CBS News’ “Face the Nation” in an interview that aired Sunday.

“So that’s an area that I think Congress needs to take a hard look at as to whether there’s a need for deterrence from the criminal law,” Krebs continued. “Do we have investigative methods? You know, I personally received a significant number of death threats and other threats. And some of them come through anonymous means like protonmail. more attention to these threats. Otherwise, we will see a shortage of election workers.”

— Nicole Sganga contributed to this report

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/election-worker-threats-7-states/

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