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Mid-term elections: U.S. warns Russia, China, Iran to stay off

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The U.S. has warned against foreign interference in its mid-term elections, particularly from Russia, China and Iran.

All the 435 House of Representatives seats, representing the 50 states are up for grabs in the election, holding on Tuesday.

Thirty five of the 100 senate seats are being contested and gubernatorial elections are to be held in 36 states.

“The United States will not tolerate foreign interference in our elections from Russia, China, Iran or other nations,” U.S. law enforcement agencies warned.

The agencies are the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) – in coordination with federal, state, local and private sector partners nationwide.

In a joint statement, DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, DNI Director Dan Coats, and FBI Director Christopher Wray said they were continuing efforts to protect the elections.

“Our agencies have been working in unprecedented ways to combat influence efforts and to support state and local officials in securing our elections, including efforts to harden election infrastructure against interference.

“Our goal is clear: ensure every vote is counted and counted correctly.

“At this time we have no indication of compromise of our nation’s election infrastructure that would prevent voting, change vote counts or disrupt the ability to tally votes.

“But Americans should be aware that foreign actors – and Russia in particular – continue to try to influence public sentiment and voter perceptions through actions intended to sow discord.

“They can do this by spreading false information about political processes and candidates, lying about their own interference activities, disseminating propaganda on social media and through other tactics,” the agencies said.

They, however, said the American public could mitigate these efforts by remaining informed, reporting suspicious activity and being vigilant consumers of information.

The agencies said actions that interfered in the elections were a threat to U.S. democracy and identifying and preventing this interference was one of our highest priorities.

“On Sept. 12, President Trump signed an executive order that makes clear the U.S. government will not hesitate to defend our electoral processes or punish those who attempt to undermine them.”

“Our agencies have been making preparations for nearly two years in advance of these elections and are closely engaged with officials on the ground to help them ensure the voting process is secure.

“Americans can rest assured that we will continue to stay focused on this mission long after polls have closed,” the agencies said. (NAN)

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