A voter wears a face mask and a face shield outsid
A voter wears a face mask and a face shield outside a polling station on Election Day during the 2020 general elections. The USA elect a president and vice president, 35 Senators, all 435 members of the House of Representatives, 13 governors of 11 states and two US territories, as well as state and local government officials. Incumbent Republican President Donald Trump and Democratic Party nominee Joe Biden are running for president. Yegor Aleyev/TASS (Photo by Yegor Aleyev\TASS via Getty Images)
  • The FBI is investigating a series of suspicious robocalls and texts urging voters to "stay home and stay safe" during the election, a senior cybersecurity official told reporters on Tuesday.
  • "Robocalls of this nature happen every election" and are a "voter intimidation" and "voter suppression" tactic, an official from the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency said during a media call.
  • The Washington Post reported that approximately 10 million such robocalls have gone out to voters across the US in recent months.
  • As Business Insider has reported, even in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, in-person voting is still a safe option and there are several tips that voters can follow to securely cast ballots on Election Day.
  • Overall, US officials have taken more steps this year than in previous election cycles to make the public aware of malicious efforts to suppress the vote, manipulate the electoral process, and sow chaos ahead of Election Day.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

The FBI is investigating a series of suspicious robocalls and texts that went out to voters urging them to "stay home and stay safe" on Election Day, a senior cybersecurity official told reporters on Tuesday.

"Robocalls of this nature happen every election," the official from the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency said during a media call, adding that the calls are a "voter intimidation" and "voter suppression" tactic.

The Washington Post reported that approximately 10 million such robocalls have gone out to voters across the US, starting in the summer. And in Michigan, officials were aware that in addition to calls, voters also received texts telling them to go to the polls on Wednesday to avoid long lines on Tuesday. The Post said that the texts targeted voters in Flint, Michigan, which is part of a county that leans Democratic.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said on Tuesday that state officials would "work quickly to stamp out misinformation," and the FBI's focus on the matter signals federal officials are also taking it seriously.

As Business Insider has reported, even in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, in-person voting is still a safe option and there are several tips voters can follow to safely and securely cast ballots on Election Day.

Overall, US officials have taken more steps this year than in previous election cycles to make the public aware of malicious efforts to suppress the vote, manipulate the electoral process, and sow chaos ahead of Election Day.

The US intelligence community determined over the summer that Russia and China were interfering in the 2020 election in favor of opposing sides. According to the assessment, China wanted Democratic nominee Joe Biden to win, while Russia wanted President Donald Trump to stay in power.

Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe also announced late last month that Russia and Iran were interfering in the election to "influence public opinion" ahead of November 3.

Ratcliffe said Iran was meddling to "damage President Trump," but Politico later reported that the reference to Trump specifically was not in Ratcliffe's prepared remarks and blindsided FBI director Christopher Wray and senior Department of Homeland Security official Chris Krebs, both of whom flanked Ratcliffe during the announcement.

Ratcliffe also said Russian and Iranian actors had obtained some voter-registration data, though as ProPublica's Jessica Huseman noted, most of that information is public anyway, and Ratcliffe's disclosure did not indicate whether any election systems had been breached. He added that "we have not seen the same actions from Russia," but "we are aware that they have obtained some voter information just as they did in 2016."

The New York Times later reported that Russia planned to meddle in the election to help Trump in part by "exacerbating disputes around the results." Ratcliffe did not share that information during his announcement, and The Times reported that contrary to what the DNI said, US officials believed Russia posed a far greater threat to the election than Iran.

US officials' latest discovery about Russia's actions had several parallels to the Kremlin's elaborate and wide-ranging campaign to interfere in the 2016 campaign to boost Trump and denigrate his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton.

This time, Russian actors breached state and local networks in a move that could allow them "broader access to American voting infrastructure," the Times said. However, just like in 2016, there is no evidence so far that the hackers changed vote totals or manipulated registration information.

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