The Department of Homeland Security’s cybersecurity agency said it is on alert for threats on Election Day in states including Virginia and New Jersey as voters head to the polls Tuesday.
In a statement on Monday, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) announced that it set up an election “situational awareness room” to monitor elections in 30 states that include “federal partners,” state and local election officials, and political organizations.
CISA said that those entities will then “share real-time information and provide support as needed” in a bid designed to curb “misinformation on Election Day.”
“While there is no specific, credible threat to election infrastructure, CISA stands ready to provide cyber incident response and expertise if needed,” the agency said. “CISA encourages voters to turn to state and local election officials as trusted sources of information.”
CISA’s Election Security Initiative Director, Geoff Hale, told news outlets that CISA will also run its “rumor control website” to give “accurate information about election processes to debunk potential mis-, dis-, and malinformation.” The website was created ahead of the 2020 election.
Officials in Virginia, which is slated to be the most-watched state on Election Day due to its contested gubernatorial race, have said they’re confident the election will be secure.
On Saturday, Virginia Department of Elections head Chris Piper, wrote an opinion article stressing the methods used to secure voting machines in the state.
“Voting is your right,” Piper wrote. “And it is our privilege and duty to assure you that your ballot was counted accurately and produced a reliable, trustworthy outcome. You can count on your defenders of democracy.”
Terry McAuliffe, a Democrat who served as governor from 2014 to 2018, is scrambling to stave off disaster in a state that has become reliable Democratic territory in recent years. President Joe Biden carried Virginia by about 10 percentage points last year, but Republican Glenn Youngkin’s campaign is optimistic about his prospects.
The race is also seen by many as a referendum on the Biden presidency itself—as well as whether Democrats can keep their House and Senate majorities during the 2022 midterms.
“This is a moment for Virginians to push back on this left, liberal, progressive agenda,” Youngkin, a former private equity executive, told a rally at an airport hangar outside Richmond.
Voters were also poised to decide a New Jersey governor’s race Tuesday, as well as mayoral elections in several of the nation’s top cities, including New York City and Atlanta, as well as a significant number of local and municipal elections.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.