One of the weak sides of republics, among their numerous advantages, is that they afford too easy an inlet to foreign corruption. An hereditary monarch, though often disposed to sacrifice his subjects to his ambition, has so great a personal interest in the government and in the external glory of the nation, that it is not easy for a foreign power to give him an equivalent for what he would sacrifice by treachery to the state. The world has accordingly been witness to few examples of this species of royal prostitution, though there have been abundant specimens of every other kind.
In republics, persons elevated from the mass of the community, by the suffrages of their fellow-citizens, to stations of great pre-eminence and power, may find compensations for betraying their trust, which, to any but minds animated and guided by superior virtue, may appear to exceed the proportion of interest they have in the common stock, and to overbalance the obligations of duty. Hence it is that history furnishes us with so many mortifying examples of the prevalency of foreign corruption in republican governments.
Election Day 2020 is less than two months away, and the FBI is charged with protecting the rights of all Americans, including their right to vote.
From now until November 3, every American has a role to play in protecting the election from threats against the democratic process. Across the country, the FBI has initiated public awareness messaging about election security online at fbi.gov and across our social media platforms.
The goal of this social media campaign is to increase the public’s awareness about threats to the upcoming election and to inform Americans about what they can do to help the FBI ensure that the elections are safe and secure. These threats include crimes the FBI has been charged with investigating for decades, including campaign finance crimes; voter/ballot fraud; civil rights violations, cyber threats targeting the election process; and the potential for foreign influence on the democratic process, elected officials and institutions.
The FBI is the primary investigative agency responsible for engaging with local and state election security counterparts to safeguard election integrity. The FBI is also the lead federal agency for identifying and combating malign foreign influence operations targeting our democratic institutions through the FBI’s Foreign Influence Task Force (FITF). The FITF brings together all FBI authorities and capabilities from multiple divisions to include Counterintelligence; Cyber; Criminal; and Counterterrorism assets to coordinate and work together to combat the threat.
The FITF is committed to providing accessible tools and resources to all levels of government through both in-person briefs and online tools, such as our Protected Voices campaign, found at fbi.gov/protectedvoices. Protected Voices is a public initiative which provides political campaigns, organizations, and other election security stakeholders with tools and resources to protect against malign foreign influence and cyber security threats.
In addition to protecting the November 2020 election, the FITF remains focused on persistent malign foreign influence efforts targeting our democratic institutions and processes outside of election events and works closely to address threats targeting the democratic process and American elections.
If you have information about allegations of election crime or voter fraud, please call your local FBI field office. The Washington Field Office can be reached at 202-278-2000.
Additional information on the FBI’s role in election security and access to educational resources about how to protect your voice and vote, can be found by following the FBI’s Washington Field Office at @FBIWFO.