JOINT INTELLIGENCE – Domestic Terrorism Threat Likely Amid Political Transitions

The Capitol! Storm it, Take What You Want; Real Justice! - LA Progressive

This Joint Intelligence Bulletin (JIB) is intended to highlight the threat of violence from domestic violent extremists (DVEs) in the wake of the 6 January violent breach by some DVEs of the US Capitol Building in Washington, DC, following lawful protest activity related to the results of the General Election. Anti-government or anti-authority violent extremists (AGAAVE), specifically militia violent extremists (MVEs); racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists (RMVEs); and DVEs citing partisan political grievances will very likely pose the greatest domestic terrorism threats in 2021. In 2021 , threats and plotting of illegal activity, including destruction of property and violence targeting officials at all levels of the government, law enforcement, journalists, and infrastructure, as well as sporadic violence surrounding lawful protests, rallies, demonstrations, and other gatherings by DVEs will very likely increase due to renewed measures to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, socio-political conditions, and perceived government overreach. The FBI, DHS, and NCTC advise federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government counterterrorism and law enforcement officials, and private sector security partners to remain vigilant in light of the persistent threat posed by DVEs and their unpredictable target selection in order to effectively detect. prevent. preempt. or respond to incidents and terrorist attacks in the United States.

(U//FOUO) The 6 January 2021 Violent Breach by DVEs of the US Capitol Building Very Likely Will Serve as an Enduring Driver for Violence by a Range of DVEs

(U//FOUO) The 6 January 2021 violent breach by suspected DVEs into the US Capitol Building very likely will serve as a significant driver of violence for a diverse set of DVEs. Attendance at the lawful protest by ideologically diverse DVEs and others, the subsequent engagement of a sizeable group from that protest in the breach, and the death of an individual directly engaged in the breach very likely will serve to galvanize DVEs and increase collaboration primarily between MVEs and RMVEs, as well as DVEs who adhere to QAnon conspiracy theories. These DVEs and others may also perceive the event as a step toward achieving their initiatives, and consider the death of a perceived like-minded individual as an act of martyrdom. Some DVEs’ view the 6 January event as a success, in conjunction with the potential to exploit follow-on lawful gatherings and ideological drivers–including conspiracy theories, such as QAnon–likely will also inspire some DVEs and others to engage in more sporadic, lone actor or small cell violence against common DVE targets, including racial, ethnic, or religious minorities and institutions, law enforcement, and government officials and buildings. Criminal activity by rioters targeting members of the media at the breach is also indicative of an increased and prolonged DVE threat of targeted violence against members of the press due to perceived complicity in a system hostile to their beliefs.

» (U//FOUO) Shortly after 2:00PM on 6 January, multiple rioters broke windows, scaled walls, and forced entry into the US Capitol Complex. Rioters assaulted law enforcement, illegally entered congressional offices and chambers, and vandalized and stole property. Separately, two suspected improvised explosive devices (IEDs) were found on the US Capitol grounds and were rendered safe.

» (U//FOUO) During the riot, an alleged QAnon-supporter who traveled to Washington, DC, engaged in lawful protests, entered the US Capitol illegally, and was shot by law enforcement as she attempted to gain access to a restricted area, subsequently succumbing to her injuries, according to open source reporting.

» (U//FOUO) Some participants active at the Capitol displayed insignias used or adopted by multiple DVEs, including three percenters (III%) and other MVE symbols–the Confederate flag and symbols associated with neo-Nazis–popular with RMVEs. Nooses and plastic restraints were carried or stationed at or near the Capitol by some rioters, possibly to demonstrate their intent to cause harm to government officials. Symbols associated with QAnon conspiracy theories were also displayed by some rioters.

(U//FOUO) Diverse Range of DVEs Very Likely to Mobilize in an Effort to Target Elected Officials and Government Buildings with Violence Following Perceived Political Shifts

(U//FOUO) Amplified perceptions of fraud surrounding the outcome of the General Election and the change in control of the Presidency and Senate–when combined with long-standing DVE drivers such as perceived government or law enforcement overreach, and the anticipation of legislation perceived by some DVEs to oppose or threaten their beliefs–very likely will lead to an increase in DVE violence. Additionally, narratives surrounding the perceived success of the 6 January breach of the US Capitol, and the proliferation of conspiracy theories will likely lead to an increased DVE threat towards representatives of federal, state, and local governments across the United States, particularly in the lead-in to the 20 January Presidential Inauguration. The targeting of government buildings and officials is consistent with observed activity in 2020, when armed individuals, including DVEs, threatened elected officials and occupied state government buildings.

» (U//FOUO) Since the 6 January event, violent online rhetoric regarding the 20 January Presidential Inauguration has increased, with some calling for unspecified “justice” for the 6 January fatal shooting by law enforcement of a participant who had illegally entered the Capitol Building, and another posting that “many” armed individuals would return on 19 January, according to open source reporting. The recent removal efforts by social media platforms used by DVEs may push some to revert back to other platforms they perceive as more secure, further challenging our ability to identify and warn of specific threats.

» (U//FOUO) The increasing prevalence and influence of conspiracy theories based on a belief in the existence of global or “deep state” actors who work to manipulate various social, political, and/or economic conditions of the United States very likely serves as a driver of some DVE violence. Some rioters at the 6 January breach were alleged supporters of QAnon conspiracy theories, according to open source reporting. Other DVEs may be motivated to target government officials and buildings because of similar theories, including the “Great Reset.”

(U//FOUO) The FBI, OHS, and NCTC remain concerned about the potential for a loosely organized, sustained, and significant DYE population mobilizing to violence based on social media calls to target government infrastructure or officials. The shared false narrative of a “stolen” election and opposition to the change in control of the executive and legislative branches of the federal government may lead some individuals to adopt the belief that there is no political solution to address their grievances and violent action is necessary. Additionally, in-person engagement between DVEs of differing ideological goals during the Capitol breach likely served to foster connections, which may increase DVEs’ willingness, capability, and motivation to attack and undermine a government they view as illegitimate.

(U//FOUO) In the near term, DVEs could exploit upcoming events to engage in or justify violence, including events attended by MVEs and “boogaloo”‘ adherents scheduled nationally from 16 to 20 January; the 20 January Presidential Inauguration and associated events in Washington, DC; and any departure of the 4Sth President from office prior to the end of his term. The “boogaloo” is a concept most commonly used by DVEs, particularly MVEs, to reference an impending second civil war or insurgency against the US Government Calls for revolution may especially resonate with MVEs, who often justify violence based on their belief that they are guardians of the Constitution and the legacies of the American Revolution. While they may not necessarily share the partisan views of those who engaged in the 6 January breach, MVEs and other DVEs who adhere to the “boogaloo” concept and seek a politically motivated civil war, and RMVEs who seek a race war may exploit the aftermath of the Capitol breach by conducting attacks to destabilize and force a climactic conflict in the United States. These factors, and the broad perception among DVEs that the violent breach was successful, may contribute to DVEs’ willingness to carry out sporadic, lone actor or small cell violence. Such DYE violence may be targeted against racial, ethnic, and/or religious minorities and associated institutions, journalists, members of the LGBTQ+ community, and other targets common among some DVEs.

(U//FOUO) Ongoing law enforcement efforts to arrest individuals who participated in the 6 January Capitol breach could deter some DVEs, and lead others to adjust their tactics and to lessen law enforcement scrutiny. Existing trends in some DVEs’ transition to what they perceive as more secure online communication platforms to discuss threat activity following increased law enforcement scrutiny very likely will continue. Law enforcement may seek to disrupt DVEs prior to any potential violence based on their pre-mobilization illegal activities, including charges related to explosives; illegal or illegally modified weapons; unlawful use of restricted firearm components; and unlawful possession of firearms, ammunition, or body armor by prohibited possessors. Law enforcement may also leverage state and local laws and ordinances that limit or restrict paramilitary activities of private militias. The FBI, OHS, and NCTC urge state and local authorities, to promptly report suspicious activities related to potential domestic violent extremism. The FBI, OHS, and NCTC note that, due to the highly personal nature of radicalization to violence, it is difficult to assess specific indicators that are indicative of US-based violent extremists attempting to support violence at home or abroad.

THE TOP SECRET LENDER LIST BANKS DO NOT WANT YOU TO SEE REVEALED

Male bankers more likely to crave money, power in new role |  eFinancialCareers

$ecret Lenders List

Welcome to the Secret List that the banks would never let you see! Below is a list of lenders and credit bureaus that they pull from based on what we have researched.

LENDER – CREDIT BUREAU – CREDIT SCORE (IF REQUIRED AND KNOWN)

Barclaycard Apple Rewards – Experian (720+ $3,500)

BMW Financial Services – Experian

BMW Financial Services – Experian (695+ $50,000 Lease)

Capital One Auto Finance – Experian – Equifax

Capital One Auto Finance – Experian (650+ $30,000 with Proof of Income)

Capital One Bank Credit Cards – Equifax – Transunion

Capital One Venture – Experian – Transunion (650+ $5,000)

Capital One Quick Silver 1 – Experian (600+ $500)

Capital One Venture – Experian (680+ $20,000 with 2 AU’s over $10,000 each)

Car Smart – Transunion

Carmax – Experian – Equifax – Transunion

CBNA Credit Cards – Experian – Equifax

Centric Credit Union Visa – Experian (530+ $500)

Chase Bank – Experian & Equifax

Chase – Experian (750+ $10,000)

Chase Amazon Rewards – Experian (750+ $7,000)

Chase Freedom – Experian (750+ $7,000)

Chase Ink Bold – Experian (720+ $15,000)

Chase Sapphire Preferred – Experian (720+ $18,000) Chase

Southwest Plus – Experian (750+ $3,500)

Chase Amazon Rewards – Experian (750+ $7,000) Chase

Freedom – Experian (750+ $7,000)

Chase Ink Bold – Experian (720+ $15,000)

Chase Sapphire Preferred – Experian (720+ $18,000) Chase

Southwest Plus – Experian (750+ $3,500)

Chase United Explorer – Experian (720+ $19,500)

Citibank Best Buy – Equifax

Citi American Airlines Platinum – Experian (720+ $6,500)

Citi Double Cash / Citi Thank You Premier – Experian (720+ $6,800)

Citizen’s Bank (location specific) Equifax

Community First Credit Union – Equifax (region specific)

Community – Transunion or Equifax

Credit Union of Texas – Equifax

Credco Auto Reseller – Experian – Transunion

Chrysler Credit – Transunion – Does Not Re Report to D&B Dell Computers Preferred Account – Experian (690+ $1,500) Delta Skymiles Gold Amex – Experian (660+ $5,000) Digital Credit Union DCU Personal Loan – Experian (700+ $26,000)
Digital Credit Union DCU Auto Loan – Experian (700+ $25,000 with Proof of Income)

Direct TV – Equifax

Discover Card – Equifax – Transunion

Discover It – Experian (620+ $1,500 – $5,500)

Drive Finance Auto Financing – Experian – Transunion

Elan Financial – Equifax

Fifth Third Bank – Transunion

FIA Amex Fidelity American Express – Experian (740+ $9,000)

Fidelity Amex Investment Rewards – Experian (720+ $12,500)

Fidelity Investment Rewards Visa Signature Card – Experian (750+ $7,500)

FirstBank Credit (FNBO) SavingStar Amex – Experian (650+ $1,000)

FNBO/NRA – Experian (740+ $8,500)

First Choice Bank – Primer Visa – Experian – Equifax – Transunion First Data Merchant Services – Credit Card Merchant Account Processor Greater Texas FCU – Experian (620+ $27,000) Hertz Corporation – Equifax Home

Depot – Experian (650+) HSBC –

Transunion

Jared/Sterling – Experian (600+ $1,500)

JCB Marukai Premium California – Experian (750+ $5,000 with Proof of Income)

JCrew (Comenity) – Experian (600+ $750)

JP Morgan Chase Business – Transunion – Chexsystems JP Morgan Chase Bank – Equifax Kohls – Experian (560 $300)

Lexus Financial Services – Experian (690+ $90,000 with Lease)

Mercedes Auto – Transunion + Experian + Equifax

Macys – Experian (700+ $1,000)

NASA FCU Platinum Rewards – Experian

NASA Visa Platinum Cash Rewards – Experian (735+ $20,000)

Navy Federal Credit Union – Equifax – Transunion

NFCU GoRewards Visa – Experian (660+ $1,000)

Navy Federal Credit Union – Business – Transunion

Nordstrom – Experian (620+ $1,000)

OneMain Financial – Equifax

Overstock.com Comenity Bank – Experian (640+ $2,200)

PEX Card – Will Start Experian Business File

PNC Bank – Experian

PNC Bank – Experian (750+ $10,000)

Prosper – Experian (640+ $15,000) RBS –

Citizens Bank – Equifax

Red Check – Equifax

Restoration Hardware – Experian (700+ $2,000) Road Loans – Equifax

Sam’s Club -Experian (660+ $700)

SchoolsFirst FCU – Experian (660+ $12,000)

Sprint Nextel –Equifax

Sportsmans Guide Comenity Bank – Experian (680+ $2,500)

SunTrust Bank – Transunion

Stash (Synchrony) – Experian

TD Signature Visa – Experian (700+ $5,000)

Tempur-Pedic – Wells Fargo Financial National Bank – Experian (745+ $5,000)

TD Bank – Experian

T-Mobile – Equifax – Transunion

True Value Comenity Bank – Experian (640 $350)

USAA – Equifax

Verizon Wireless – Equifax – Experian Vystar – Equifax (region specific) Victoria’s Secret – Experian Wells Fargo Bank – Experian – Chexsysems Wells Fargo Credit Cards – Equifax

Wells Fargo Auto Finance – Experian – Equifax

Affinity Plus (Join Foundation)

Allegacy Federal CU (Join Association application

process) Applied Bank

Barclays

BBVA Compass Bank

CFNA

Discover (Equifax 50% of the time)

Eaton Family CU (Ohio Only) Fifth

Third Bank

First Premier Bank

GECRB (General Electric Capital Retail Bank)

John Deere Financial

KEMBA Financial CU (Angie’s List Eligible, used to pull Equifax)

Lake Michigan CU (ALS Assoc Eligible)

Lending Club

Mazuma CU (Join Harry S Truman Library & Museum

Mercedes Benz Credit Corp

Merrick Bank

Michigan First CUPNC (TU 50% of the time)

Regions Bank (region specific)

RBFCU

Smart Financial CU ($60 to join Houston Museum)

Synchrony Bank (See store card listing below held by Synchrony bank). Note synchrony also pulls from Experian

State Farm

UMB

U.S. Bank VW

BRANDS AND STORE CARDS TRANSUNION BASED:

Amazon Store (SYNCHRONY AND CHASE)

American Eagle (SYNCHRONY)

Ameriprise (Barclays)

Apple (Barclays)

Ashley Furniture (SYNCHRONY)

Banana Republic (SYNCHRONY)

Belk (SYNCHRONY)

Babies R Us (SYNCHRONY)

Barclaycard Arrival

BJ’s (Barclays)

Bridgestone (CFNA)

Care Credit (SYNCHRONY)

Chevron (SYNCHRONY)

Dillard’s (SYNCHRONY) eBay

(GECRB)

Firestone (Citibank)

Gap (SYNCHRONY)

Golfsmith (SYNCHRONY)

Guide Dogs (UMB)

H.H.Gregg (SYNCHRONY)

Hooters (Merrick Bank)

JCPenneys (SYNCHRONY)

Linux (UMB)

L.L.Bean (Barclays)

PayPal (SYNCHRONY)

Priceline (Barclays)

QVC (SYNCHRONY)

Rooms To Go (SYNCHRONY)

Sallie Mae (Barclays)

Sam’s Club (SYNCHRONY)

Texaco (SYNCHRONY) TJX

(SYNCHRONY)

Toys R Us (SYNCHRONY)

Travelocity (Barclays)

UPromise (Barclays) US Air

(Barclays)

Walmart (SYNCHRONY)

Williams Sonoma (Barclays)

Your geographical location can impact which credit bureau a lender will pull from. This list is a collection of what we have researched in various places across the United States. Banks change their policies from time to time so if you experience that anything has changed, let us know!

 

Two Face America: 73 Million Trump Party Apparatchiks Guarantee Turmoil Over the Coming Years

Two Face America: 73 Million Trump Party Apparatchiks Guarantee Turmoil Over the Coming Years
by John Stanton

It is happening here.
The soul of America is like the character Two Face in the Batman movie series.
One defeat of the Party of Trump and its 73 million apparatchiks is not enough. In Trump, the United States has bred its own dictator in waiting and he’s got an army of servile apostles willing to fight and die for him. Vigilance by his opponents has never been more important.
“This Fuhrer dictatorship could produce only lackeys and profiteers of the most reactionary and aggressive part of German imperialist reaction. Its Germanic democracy reared the repulsive type of a human breed that was boundlessly servile to men of higher rank and just as boundlessly cruelly tyrannical towards men below it.” The Destruction of Reason, Georg Lukacs
Incumbent President Donald Trump now owns the Republican Party, lock, stock and barrel. With 73 million restless apparatchiks clearly beholden to the cult of Trump, will it be long before the Republican Party gets rebranded as the Trump National Party; or, perhaps, the MAGA Party
(Make America Great Again)? Maybe Trump sells-off his faltering real estate empire and creates a media conglomerate—consisting of television, radio,and the Internet/WWW—that spews out divisive, fascist, ultraconservative fare 24 hours a day, 7 days week. Trump Media would
absorb the National Review, New York Post and similar conservative publications/websites.
Sky’s the limit for Trump: His 73 million followers include an increasing number of Blacks and Latinos who appear to revere him for his apparent strength, tough talk and sense of honor.
According to Fortune Magazine, “As Trump once put it: ‘Real power is fear. It’s all about strength. Never show weakness. You’ve always got to be strong. Don’t be bullied. There is no choice.’”


Adolf Hitler Said That Too.


“Brutality is respected. The ordinary man in the street only respects brute force and
ruthlessness. The people need to be kept in a salutary state of fear. They want to fear something. Why make a fuss over brutality and wax indignant over tortures? The masses want this. They want something that will give them shudders of terror. Moralistic platitudes are essential for the masses. There could be no greater mistake for a politician than to be seen posing as the immoral superman. Of course I shall not make it a matter of principle whether or not to act immorally in the conventional sense. I do not abide, you see, by any principles whatever.” (Adolf Hitler quoted in The Destruction of Reason by Georg Lukacs)
We are all familiar with these wicked sentiments expressed by Trump and Hitler and assorted cult leaders, or should be. The history books are replete with tales of dastardly kings, princes and dictators who said nearly the same things and lived and ruled by such dictates. Democracy
has been the aberration in politics, not dictatorship or kingship.


The Path to an American Hitler
The Destruction of Reason by Lukacs traces the development of irrationalism and fascism in Germany; specifically, the intellectual fertilizer that led to Hitler’s rise to power and National Socialism. His analysis reaches back to 1789 and includes commentary on Hegel, Kant,
Nietzsche, Marx, Engels, and scores of other philosophical heavyweights.
In an epilogue to the book titled Post World War II Irrationalism, Lukacs argues that the USA achieved all that Hitler sought without all the baggage of National Socialism, psychopathic leaders and the industrialized murder of the Jewish people. He kicks off the epilogue by quoting from Norman Mailer’s novel the Naked and the Dead, specifically the character of General
Cummings:
“As kinetic energy, a country is organization, coordinated effort, your epithet, fascism. Historically the purpose of this war is to translate America’s potential into kinetic energy. The concept of fascism, far sounder that communism, if you consider it, for it is grounded firmly in men’s actual natures, merely started in the wrong country, in a country that did not have enough intrinsic potential power to develop completely. In Germany with that basic frustration of limited physical means there were bound to be excesses. But the dreams, the concept was sound enough. For the past century the entire historical process has been working toward greater and
greater consolidation of power.”
Lukacs puts a fine point on the United States succeeding where Hitler could not:
“In contrast to [Nazi] Germany, the USA had a constitution which was democratic from the start. The ruling class managed, particularly during the imperialist era, to have the democratic forms so effectively preserved that by democratically legal means, it achieved a dictatorship of
monopoly capitalism at lest as firm as that which Hitler set up with tyrannical procedures. This smoothly functioning democracy, so called, was created by the Presidential prerogative, the Supreme Court’s authority in constitutional questions (and the monopoly capitalists always
decided which were the constitutional questions), the finance monopoly over the press, radio, etc., electioneering costs, which successfully prevented really democratic parties from springing up besides the two parties of monopoly capitalism, and lastly the use of terrorist devices (the
lynching system—targeting Blacks). And this democracy could in substance realize everything sought by Hitler without needing to break with democracy formally.”
Lukacs also notes in passing that Hitler was a fan of American advertising and used what he learned from that field to ply his destructive trade in Germany and across Europe.


Lost Souls
Now we turn to Trita Parsi the Executive Vice President of the Quincy Institute discussing the tortured soul of America. The insight could not have been penned any better than this:
“If Joe Biden was right and the 2020 presidential elections were a contest over the soul of America, then his victory is bittersweet. With almost half of the votes cast for Donald Trump, he is undeniably very much a part of the American soul…Trump is not an aberration, but a reflection of the ugliness that very much is, and always has been, a part of us. While the US
may not yet be ready to grapple with this reality, the rest of the world can no longer afford to live in denial. Around the world, many hoped that the lies we have told ourselves of our America innocence – the lies that form the bedrock of American Exceptionalism and neatly separate us
from the desperate impulses that brought forward Trump – would prove true. They didn’t.
Almost eight million more Americans voted for Trump this past Tuesday than they did in 2016.
They saw the divisions he fueled, the xenophobia he embraced, the children he caged, the white supremacists he refused to condemn, and the pandemic he bungled; and they weighed that against the tax cuts they won, the conservative Supreme Court judges he appointed, the climate chaos they can ignore, and the punishments he inflicted on the “liberal elites”. They
decided they wanted four more years of Trump.”
As the legendary American actress Betty Davis once said in character, “Fasten your seat belts, it’s going to be a bumpy night.”

DHS – Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Mail-In Voting in 2020 Infrastructure Risk Assessment

Page Count: 11 pages
Date: July 28, 2020
Restriction: None
Originating Organization: Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, Department of Homeland Security
File Type: pdf
File Size: 577,002 bytes
File Hash (SHA-256): 4018616B3963268F457A9A294BF1A3A04EB90025898BC3C54B4785B048C873BB

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All forms of voting – in this case mail-in voting – bring a variety of cyber and infrastructure risks. Risks to mail-in voting can be managed through various policies, procedures, and controls.
The outbound and inbound processing of mail-in ballots introduces additional infrastructure and technology, which increases the potential scalability of cyber attacks. Implementation of mail-in voting infrastructure and processes within a compressed timeline may also introduce new risk. To address this risk, election officials should focus on cyber risk management activities, including access controls and authentication best practices when implementing expanded mail-in voting.

Integrity attacks on voter registration data and systems represent a comparatively higher risk in a mail-in voting environment when compared to an in-person voting environment. This is because the voter is not present at the time of casting the ballot and cannot help to answer questions regarding their eligibility or identity verification.

Operational risk management responsibility differs with mail-in voting and in-person voting processes. For mail-in voting, some of the risk under the control of election officials during in-person voting shifts to outside entities, such as ballot printers, mail processing facilities, and the United States Postal Service (USPS).

Physical access at election offices and warehouses represents a risk in a mail-in voting environment. Completed ballots are returned to the election office and must be securely stored for days or weeks before processing through voter authentication and tabulation processes. Managing risks to these processes requires implementing secure procedures for storage, access controls, and chain of custody, such as ballot accounting.
Inbound mail-in ballot processes and tabulation take longer than in-person processing, causing tabulation of results to occur more slowly and resulting in more ballots to tabulate following election night. Media, candidates, and voters should expect less comprehensive results on election night, which creates additional risk of electoral uncertainty and confidence in results.

Disinformation risk to mail-in voting infrastructure and processes is similar to that of in-person voting while utilizing different content. Threat actors may leverage limited understanding regarding mail-in voting processes to mislead and confuse the public.

Election infrastructure includes a diverse set of systems, networks, and processes. Mail-in voting is a method of administering elections. When voting by mail, authorized voters receive a ballot in the mail, either automatically or after the application process. In most implementations, the voter marks the ballot, puts the ballot in an envelope, signs an affidavit, and returns the package via mail or by dropping off at a ballot drop box or other designated location.

Currently, five states (Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Utah, and Washington) automatically send every registered voter a ballot by mail. At least 21 other states have laws that allow at least some elections to be conducted by mail. In addition to the five states that send every voter a ballot, five states (Arizona, California, Montana, Nevada, and New Jersey) and the District of Columbia (D.C.) allow a voter to apply to receive a mail-in ballot permanently, so that voters do not have to apply each election.1 Currently, 34 states and D.C. allow any registered voter to request a mail-in ballot. There are 16 states that require voters to have an excuse such as temporary absence from the voting district, illness, or disability or require voters to be of a certain age (typically 65+) to be eligible to receive a ballot by mail. Some states are recognizing COVID-19 as a valid excuse.

Although they perform similar functions, mail-in voting processes and infrastructure vary from state to state and often differ even between counties, parishes, towns, or cities within a state or territory. While each state manages and conducts mail-in elections differently based on state and local legal requirements, common risks and mitigations exist across states and implementations.

Voter registration and mail ballot application processing collects data used to determine voter eligibility, the type of ballot a voter receives, the location or address for mailing the ballot to the voter, and whether election officials can accept the ballot. Either an integrity attack or an availability attack on a voter registration system could result in a voter not being able to cast a ballot or a voter’s ballot not being counted. Integrity attacks on voter registration data and systems represents a comparatively higher risk in a mail-in voting environment than an in-person voting environment. This is because the voter is not present at the time of casting the ballot and cannot help to resolve questions regarding eligibility or verification. Mail-in voters whose registration records are altered or deleted in an integrity attack do not have the opportunity to be issued a provisional ballot, which are available to in-person voters.

  • An integrity attack that removed a voter from the voter registration, permanent mail, or absentee ballot request list could result in the voter not receiving a ballot, unless the voter proactively followed up to re-register, re-apply, or if the election official received the ballot as undeliverable and contacted the voter. The impact is that a voter may not receive a ballot or receipt of a ballot may be delayed, resulting in a jurisdiction potentially not accepting a voted ballot. The voter would still possess the ability to vote in person provisionally.
  • An integrity attack on a voter’s name could result in the voter receiving a ballot package that is not addressed to the proper individual. If there was an integrity attack on a voter’s identifying information (i.e., date of birth [DOB], driver’s license number [DL], last four digits of Social Security number [SSN], etc.), the voter’s proof of ID, where required, would not match the voter’s record. The voter would either need to inform the election official and update his or her voter record (assuming that the voter registration deadline has not passed), or risk having their voted ballot rejected upon receipt.
  • An integrity attack on a voter’s ballot mailing address may result in the voter not receiving a ballot, unless the voter proactively updated his or her registration with the correct address, or the election official received the ballot as undeliverable and contacted the voter. This assumes that the voter registration or ballot application deadline has not passed, allowing the voter to update his or her information. The impact is that a voter may not receive a ballot, or receipt of a ballot is delayed.
  • An integrity attack on a voter’s signature on file could result in the voter having the ballot package rejected and their ballot uncounted. If the state is one of the 19 that requires a voter to receive notification when there is a discrepancy with their signature or the signature on the return ballot envelope is missing (a.k.a. “cure process”), the voter may have an opportunity to correct the situation by being notified that the ballot was rejected and taking action to resolve the issue. This can be done by an election official notifying the voter or a voter checking a ballot tracking system, if available.
  • An availability attack on the voter registration database or specific information, such as a list of mail voters, voter names, or addresses could result in the delay of voters receiving their ballots, and further impact voters’ ability to return ballots on time to ensure they are counted. In most states, a ballot may be returned in person, in which case the impact of an availability attack may only affect the outbound process providing a measure of resilience.

Exposed – Russia Likely to Continue Seeking to Undermine Faith in US Electoral Process

Homeland Security Experts on the Biggest Threats and Challenges the U.S.  Faces in 2020 – Homeland Security Today
Page Count: 4 pages
Date: September 3, 2020
Restriction: For Official Use Only
Originating Organization: Cyber Mission Center, Office of Intelligence and Analysis, Department of Homeland Security
File Type: pdf
File Size: 167,819 bytes
File Hash (SHA-256): CD0E044E731342D57AB13DCBB9C8B56D2D5A6295D1E51F6409461D1CAB55C61A

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(U//FOUO) We assess that Russia is likely to continue amplifying criticisms of vote-by-mail and shifting voting processes amidst the COVID-19 pandemic to undermine public trust in the electoral process. Decisions made by state election officials on expanding vote-by-mail and adjusting in-person voting to accommodate challenges posed by COVID-19 have become topics of public debate. This public discussion represents a target for foreign malign influence operations that seeks to undermine faith in the electoral process by spreading disinformation about the accuracy of voter data for expanded vote-by-mail, outbound/inbound mail ballot process, signature verification and cure process, modifying scale of in-person voting, and safety and health concerns at polling places, according to CISA guidance documents provided to state and local election officials. Since at least March 2020, Russian malign influence actors have been amplifying allegations of election integrity issues in new voting processes and vote-by-mail programs.

(U//FOUO) Russian state media and proxy websites in mid-August 2020 criticized the integrity of expanded and universal vote-by-mail, claiming ineligible voters could receive ballots due to out-of-date voter rolls, leaving a vast amount of ballots unaccounted for and vulnerable to tampering.b These websites also alleged that vote-by-mail processes would overburden the US Postal Service and local boards of election, delaying vote tabulation and

creating more opportunities for fraud and error.

(U//FOUO) Since March 2020, Russian state media and proxy websites have denigrated vote-by-mail processes, alleging they lack transparency and procedural oversight, creating vast opportunities for voter fraud. These outlets also claimed that state election officials and policymakers leveraged the COVID-19 pandemic to justify politically-expedient decisions made on holding primary elections and implementing new voting processes and vote-by-mail programs allegedly designed to benefit specific candidates and influence election outcomes.

(U//FOUO) Throughout the 2020 primary elections, Russian state media and proxy websites amplified public narratives about shortcomings in ballot delivery and processing, such as claims that voters would not receive their mail ballot in time to cast their vote. These websites highlighted reductions in the number of in-person polling places in large cities due to the pandemic and the long lines this caused, claiming this
would disproportionately suppress voting among African-Americans and expose them to the spread of COVID-19.

(U//FOUO) We assess that Russian state media, proxies, and Russian-controlled social media trolls are likely to promote allegations of corruption, system failure, and foreign malign interference to sow distrust in democratic institutions and election outcomes. We base this assessment on content analysis of narratives and themes promoted by Russian state media and proxy websites throughout the 2020 election cycle concerning system integrity issues and parallels with observed Russian troll activity leading up to the 2018 and 2016 elections.

(U//FOUO) Russia continues to spread disinformation in the United States designed to undermine American confidence in democratic processes and denigrate a perceived anti-Russia establishment, using efforts such as Russian-controlled internet trolls and other proxies, according to an ODNI press statement. In the Iowa Caucuses in February, Russian state media and proxy websites claimed that the contest was fixed in favor of establishment candidates and that technical difficulties with the caucusing mobile voting application led to ballot manipulation. These outlets continued this narrative into March 2020, claiming that the Democratic Party made a corrupt back-room deal to orchestrate the exit of establishment candidates to consolidate the vote behind former Vice President BidenUSPER in advance of the Super Tuesday primary elections.

(U) Russian malign influence actors during the 2018 US midterm election claimed they controlled the US voting systems to prompt election integrity concerns, according to press reporting. In the 2016 US presidential election, Russian social media trolls targeted specific communities and claimed the election was rigged by the establishment, encouraging these voters to stay at home or vote for third-party candidates in order to influence the election outcome, according to reports by firms with expertise in social media network analysis.