FBI, election officials concerned about security of the 2024 election

While there are concerns surrounding election interference and misinformation, one election official told Scripps News that today's elections in the U.S. are more secure than ever before.
Ballot Drop Box
Posted at 12:19 PM, May 15, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-15 12:19:40-04

Robocalls, deepfakes and AI-generated content have already been seen in the 2024 election cycle, and the FBI is warning that foreign adversaries like Russia, China and Iran could try to use emerging technology to influence the November election.

Senior FBI officials said they're also concerned about election workers being physically threatened — something that local election officials are worried about too.

Wesley Wilcox has worked in election administration for over 30 years, and he's currently the supervisor of elections for Marion County, Florida. He said he's worried about social media posts inciting a voter, and then that voter bringing their frustration to the polling sites.

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Another concern for Wilcox is experience. Since 2020, he said he's seen a lot of election officials leave their jobs, equating to decades of experience walking out the door.

"All those lessons learned in 2020 are gone from those organizations," he said. "And that's a massive amount of institutional knowledge ... you just can't write down everything."

But one thing Wilcox said he's not losing sleep over: fraudulent voters.

"Have I experienced it? Yes," he said. "You know, I've had somebody that is trying to do something illegal. But the key word there was 'tried.' You know, there are a lot of checks and balances in this process that prevent that type of activity."

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How Americans vote is also changing. Voting by mail is increasingly popular, and more states are changing their laws to allow early in-person voting.

Wilcox says those changes make it harder to anticipate when they'll get a rush of voters. But he's confident the industry will be ready.

"Elections in today's world in the U.S. are the most professionally run elections that we've ever had," he said. "You know, it's gotten magnitudes better in the last 34 years, not only in just the professionalism of the agencies that are conducting this, but also the standards that we hold ourselves to."