U.S. officials are worried about Russia interfering with 2022 midterm elections
Russia’s invasion against Ukraine has caused U.S. officials to worry about election interference, as well as the reaction this may spark from Americans
Homeland Security officials are worried that Russia may create conflict during the November 2022 midterm elections, CNN reports.
However, as of now, U.S. officials say that this situation is hypothetical.
Potential breaches: Officials are worried that if Russia does interfere, a situation like this could take place:
- “Russian hackers breach a local county voter registration system, making sure to get detected. They would then post information and proudly take responsibility rather than blame third-party hackers, as they did in 2016,” per CNN.
Reaction: There is an underlying worry that this may spur some distrust and division among the American people, CNN says.
- Officials said that Russian interference could be designed to amplify the false claims of former President Donald Trump and others that the 2020 presidential election was not legitimate, per CNN.
- “Other Kremlin-backed forces would amplify the problems on Facebook and Twitter, aiming to churn up angry — and violent — reactions.”
Democratic senators speak out: According to Insider, 17 Democratic senators compiled a letter outlining their worries of the threat Russian forces could potentially have on this year’s midterm elections, especially following Russia’s attack on Ukraine.
- The letter urged the country’s top intelligence and national security forces to be vigilant against potential cyberattacks.
- “As the Russian invasion of Ukraine has led to an increase in Russian disinformation and warnings of potential cyberattacks, we urge you to ensure that your agencies are prepared to quickly and effectively counter Russian influence campaigns targeting the 2022 elections,” the letter said.
Previous Russian attacks: In 2016, a grand jury indicted 12 Russian military intelligence officers for interfering with the presidential election, the FBI reported.
- They were charged with “a computer hacking conspiracy involving gaining unauthorized access into the computers of U.S. persons and entities involved in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, stealing documents from those computers, and staging releases of the stolen documents to interfere with the 2016 U.S. presidential election,” the FBI said.
- Increased worry: A poll of 1,005 Americans of voting age was done by Reuters and Ipsos in April. The poll showed that Americans are skeptical when it comes to elections.
- The poll showed that 52% of Americans were worried about Russians interfering with elections through misinformation and online propaganda.
- 52% of Americans are also worried about “Russia funneling money indirectly to American political candidates and campaigns,” Ipsos reported.