Poll: Americans concerned with foreign election interference

Most Americans are concerned at least somewhat by the potential for foreign interference in November’s election, and a majority believes that Russia sought in 2016 to influence the outcome of that race, according to a new poll that underscores the anxiety and political divisions heading into the final weeks of the presidential contest.

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October 2, 2020 - 12:20 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — Most Americans are concerned at least somewhat by the potential for foreign interference in November’s election, and a majority believes that Russia sought in 2016 to influence the outcome of that race, according to a new poll that underscores the anxiety and political divisions heading into the final weeks of the presidential contest.

The poll from the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy and The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research shows that about three-quarters of Americans are at least somewhat concerned about interference, whether in the form of tampering with voting systems and election results, stealing data from candidates or parties or influencing the candidates themselves or the way voters think about them. Still, no more than half are “extremely” or “very” concerned about each of those possibilities.

The poll was taken as intelligence officials warn of ongoing efforts by foreign adversaries to interfere in American politics, including a concerted Russian effort to denigrate Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. FBI Director Christopher Wray told lawmakers last month that Russia was continuing to use social media to try to influence the election, though he said officials had not seen targeting of voting system infrastructure. Officials also say they don’t have intelligence that foreign countries are targeting the vote-by-mail process.

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