FBI is investigating reports of these calls.
Voters in several U.S. states receive cryptic automated calls to stay at home on election day, state and party officials say..
That said, by noon ET, when more than half of the expected number of ballots had already been cast, there was little sign of the digital tampering that officials in charge of voting security feared..
“The danger is not over yet,” warned senior Department of Homeland Security official Christopher Krebs. He told reporters earlier Tuesday: “Today is, in a sense, a halftime break. There may be other events, actions or attempts to interfere with the elections or undermine their credibility “.
Fears of foreign interference in the 2020 elections have emerged since last elections, when Russian hackers posted tens of thousands of emails online in an attempt to promote Republican Donald Trump’s victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton. However, so far these fears have not materialized..
More than 100 million votes were cast in the country ahead of schedule. Experts predict a turnout of 160 million this year.
And about. Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolfe said Tuesday that authorities have found no evidence of external vote manipulation in the U.S. presidential election.
At the same time, there are signs of more traditional threats in the form of breakage of electronic ballot boxes and automated calls..
Authorities and party officials in a number of wavering states, including Iowa, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Florida, have reported a spike in automatic phone calls urging people not to vote for various bogus reasons..
“There are reports of numerous automated calls to Flint residents claiming that long queues are due to vote tomorrow,” Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel tweeted. – Of course, this is not true. This is an attempt to understate the turnout “.
According to a spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is investigating reports of mysterious calls. The FBI does not comment yet.
Experts interviewed by Reuters are particularly perplexed by a series of calls advising people to stay at home, but without mentioning elections..
“This has caused some confusion in the company,” said Julia Porter, vice president of RoboKiller, which fights telemarketing and robotic calling..
The company has published an audio recording of the calls. A woman’s voice says: “Hello. This is a test call. Now you need to stay at home. Take care of yourself and stay at home. ” According to Porter, there have been millions of such calls in the past 11 months, but only today have risen to the fifth or sixth position on the list of the most common spam calls. The company has not yet completed the analysis, but believes that such calls were received by “thousands or tens of thousands” of people..
Technical failures also occur. For example, Spalding County, Georgia, has no electronic voting systems, election observer Marcia Ridley told local media..
Reuters has not yet been able to contact Ridley for comment. Local media reports say that spare ballots are being sent to polling stations to allow residents to vote. Two official sources told Reuters the problems were due to a technical malfunction..
“This appears to be a typical technical problem,” said one source..
Krebs reminded voters that technical problems did not come as a surprise, and urged to avoid rumors and unverified information.
“Remember, sometimes technology fails,” he said..
He and Wolfe advised voters to be patient while waiting for the results, which could take days to calculate due to the complexities of the pandemic and the large number of votes cast in the mail..
“It’s important to remember that this process can take time,” Wolfe said..