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Disinformation, Cyber Threats Plague 2024 Election: DHS Sec. Mayorkas

By Jake Beardslee · July 26, 2023

In brief…

  • DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas testified before Congress about threats to the 2024 election, including disinformation campaigns, cyberattacks and voter intimidation
  • Mayorkas warned of the danger of false claims of voter fraud, noting that Rudy Giuliani has admitted that his fraud allegations against GA election workers were untrue.
  • Critics say social media companies in particular must do more to stop the spread of election disinformation.
DHS Secretary Mayorkas warned Congress that disinformation, cyberattacks and voter intimidation pose major threats to the 2024 election.  DHSgov, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

In testimony before the House Intelligence Committee, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas listed what he believes are the three major threat that stand to undermine the integrity of the 2024 presidential election.

“One is the threat of disinformation propagated by the nation states of Russia, China, North Korea and Iran,” Mayorkas told law makers. “Two would be the cybersecurity threat, something that we are always vigilant in guarding against,” he said. “And third is something that we saw manifested last year, and that is the threat of physical intimidation of individuals at the voting booth,” he said, referencing reports of physical threats during the 2020 and 2022 elections.

Mayorkas also underscored the the danger of false claims of voter fraud, an issue that plagued the contentious presidential 2020 election. He then pointed to former Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani, who recently acknowledged in court that his prior statements about election workers falsifying votes in Georgia were untrue. “Those election workers lives were put at great risk,” Mayorkas pointed out.

Mayorkas then detailed some of the efforts DHS is taking to counter these threats, such as sharing intelligence with state and local law enforcement, and deploying special security advisors to provide guidance on how to keep polling locations safe and secure.

The Secretary’s warnings come as social media platforms face complaints that they have not done enough to stop the spread of election misinformation online. Mayorkas said defending U.S. elections from foreign and domestic interference remains a top priority for DHS.