Oct 22nd update: Iran is the source of threatening, faked emails sent to voters, said John Ratcliffe, the director of national intelligence, and Christopher A. Wray, the F.B.I. director, in an announcement from the bureau’s headquarters.
A widespread but ineffective effort at intimidating Florida Democratic voters has occurred. Specifically, voters are receiving the following email from a sender claiming to be the “Proud Boys” . Enrique Tarrio, the chairman of the Proud Boys has disavowed being the source.
Subject: voteing [typo in email]
Hi [Recipient’s First and Last Name]
We are in possession of all your information You are currently registered as a Democrat and we know that because we have gained access into the entire voting infrastructure. You will vote for Trump on Election Day or we will come after you. Change your party affiliation to Republican to let us know you received our message and will comply. We will know which candidate you voted for. I would take this seriously if I were you.
[Recipient’s Home Address]
These emails have been reported to local law enforcement and the FBI are investigating. The Florida Democratic Party has been alerted and is investigating and responding. Attempting to threaten or intimidate voters in federal elections is a federal crime punishable by fines and up to one year in prison.
If you receive or have received this email, or any other threatening message:
- Report it to the FBI at https://tips.fbi.gov ,
- Call the Democratic Florida Voter Protection Hotline (833) 868-3352, and
- Take a photo or print the email to maintain a record, but do not forward it or click on anything that appears to be a link in the message, just in case it includes malicious software (no indication to date that it does, this is overly cautious)
Although the FBI and Democratic Party are already investigating, it helps to ensure that all incidents are reported.
Please remember that the information contained in this email message is all publicly available – name, party affiliation, home address, and email address (if you provided it) – and does not present evidence that this group, or anyone else, has hacked or otherwise gained access to this country’s voting infrastructure. Do NOT be intimidated by this SPAM email!
A spokesperson for the US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency said in a statement that it is aware of the emails. “While we are looking into the emails, we can tell you this: your vote IS secret,” the spokesperson said. “These emails are meant to intimidate and undermine American voters’ confidence in our elections. Don’t fall for sensational and unverified claims. Visit CISA.gov/rumorcontrol to get more facts about elections and election security. #Protect2020″.
Any Democratic voter experiencing intimidation from any source at any location is urged to call the Democratic Florida Voter Protection Hotline at (833) 868-3352.
Media coverage of these events can be found at the links below: