United States Attorney Mike Stuart Issues Statement on Election Security
CHARLESTON, W.VA. – United States Attorney Mike Stuart issued the following statement about the important issues of elections, election security and voter legitimacy:
“During the 2018 election cycle, Secretary of State Warner referred to my office what he perceived to be an attempted intrusion by an outside party into the West Virginia military mobile voting system. I note that there was no intrusion and the integrity of votes and the election system was not compromised. My office instituted an investigation to determine the facts and whether any federal laws were violated. The FBI has led that investigation. That investigation is currently ongoing and no legal conclusions whatsoever have been made regarding the conduct of the activity or whether any federal laws were violated.
The United States Department of Homeland Security has designated elections as “Critical Infrastructure.” Federal and state officials including law enforcement treat potential threats against our elections extremely seriously. There is no greater threat to our way of life and democracy than the threat of compromised elections. The reliability of our election system and the sanctity of every vote is something we should never have to question. Sadly, the challenge and threat isn’t only foreign interference but, rather, institutions, interest groups, third parties and trouble makers that seek to test or challenge or ultimately undermine the legitimacy of our elections and, as a result, our governing institutions and our government. It is something the Department of Justice and this office will not tolerate – not even a little.
In anticipation of the 2020 election cycle, a cycle that may well be the most contested, most intense and most brutal election cycle in the history of the nation, let me be absolutely clear: If you are a party – any party – or an individual – any individual – that intentionally compromises or attempts to intentionally compromise our election systems, the security related to our election systems, or the legitimacy of the votes cast by citizens, my office will prosecute you to the fullest extent of the law. Free and fair elections are a critical foundation to the maintenance of liberty. Whether in the name of an academic exercise, a mere challenge or thrill, or to actually cause harm, we will treat every risk extremely seriously and as a threat to “Critical Infrastructure.” Even a mere attempt is unacceptable. If you do the crime, be ready to do the time. Our election systems are sophisticated with many electronic fingerprints that will lead us exactly to the violators of our secured systems. Don’t do it. Don’t even think about it.”