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Federal election officials say reported voting issues in Arizona won't disrupt election

A voter holds a ballot on arriving at the Burton Barr Library voting location on Nov. 8 in Phoenix.
A voter holds a ballot on arriving at the Burton Barr Library polling location on Nov. 8 in Phoenix. (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

Senior officials with the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency seemed to downplay reports of a small number of issues related to voting by reassuring reporters on Tuesday that the agency had seen nothing that could have any impact on disrupting election infrastructure.

During an occasionally contentious background call with reporters, CISA senior officials said they were aware of some — but not other — widely reported issues related to voting machines or the websites of county governments involved in the voting process.

Officials with CISA, which is part of the Department of Homeland Security, said they were aware of issues in Maricopa County, Ariz., and were in communication with county and elected officials and with Dominion, the voting machine company reported to be potentially tied to the ballot issues.

“Elections are surprisingly technical and complicated, and there are vast differences in how voting works across counties and states,” the official said, referring further questions to Maricopa officials.

“While changes may result in delays in the reporting of results, it's important to stress that such issues should not affect anyone's ability to cast a ballot,” the official said.

An adjudication board reviews ballots at the Maricopa County Tabulation and Election Center on Nov. 8 in Phoenix.
An adjudication board reviews ballots at the Maricopa County Tabulation and Election Center on Nov. 8 in Phoenix. (John Moore/Getty Images)

The official cautioned to not misinterpret “normal technical challenges” as malicious activity but deflected repeated questions from reporters about specific incidents involving an array of activity, including announcements from a pro-Russia hacking group naming certain websites as targets. (Those websites appeared to be down, according to the reporter asking about it on the call.)

CISA said it was not tracking reports on Twitter — and in the press — about the Champaign, Ill., government website being knocked offline for the past month, which is affecting voting today.

“We are not tracking that one specifically,” the senior CISA official said.

The senior CISA official also said the agency does not monitor social media.

Yet the official said CISA had not seen evidence of foreign influence affecting election infrastructure.

CISA continues “to see no specific or credible threat to disrupt election infrastructure. Or Eection Day operations. We've seen no activity that can cause anyone to question the security, integrity or resilience of our election infrastructure," the official said.

The officials referred any additional questions to their spokespeople, who had not yet returned Yahoo News’ repeated requests for further information about cyber disruptions or threats of attack.