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WV Secretary of State updates Russian, Iranian efforts to influence 2020 presidential elections

West Virginia

CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – West Virginia Secretary of State Mac Warner is hosting a press conference at 10:15 a.m. with WVSOS Chief Technology Officer Dave Tackett to give an updated assessment of the situation regarding the Russian and Iranian attempts to influence the 2020 presidential elections. 

Wednesday, Oct. 21, Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe gave a briefing to alert the public Iran and Russia took “specific actions,” particularly on the internet, to manipulate public opinion regarding the 2020 election. Ratcliffe said the actions ranged from obtaining voter registration information to sending emails meant to intimidate American voters and sow unrest.

Warner’s office says voters in several states report receiving intimidating and threatening emails that federal authorities have traced to foreign sources.

According to the Secretary of State’s office, federal authorities confirmed that some voter registration information has been obtained by Iran, and separately, by Russia. Warner says that data can be used to communicate false information to registered voters that could “cause confusion, sow chaos, and undermine confidence in American democracy.”

Warner says West Virginia is not one of the states included in the possible information theft.

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence and leaders from other federal agencies provided public attribution of activities intended to influence public opinion in regard to the election, according to Warner’s office.

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