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US says ‘no evidence’ foreign meddling impacted 2018 midterm vote

A ballot is entered into a machine. (Voice Of America/Released)

This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.

U.S. government agencies said foreign actors did not significantly influence the U.S. mid-term congressional elections last year, despite reports of hacking attempts leading up to the vote,

The conclusion was reached by the Justice and Homeland Security departments, which made the announcement in a joint statement issued on February 5.

“There is no evidence to date that any identified activities of a foreign government or foreign agent had a material impact on the integrity or security of election infrastructure or political/campaign infrastructure”” used in the November polls, the statement said. 

Ahead of the mid-term elections, U.S. officials warned that foreign actors were continuing their manipulation efforts, and prosecutors charged a Russian national with participating in a Kremlin-backed plan to interfere in the vote.

Some state and local governments reported attempts to access their networks ahead of the polls, but officials said they were able to prevent or limit access.

U.S. intelligence officials warned last week that Russia and China were already targeting the 2020 presidential election.

The U.S. intelligence community has said Russia used a sophisticated hacking-and-propaganda campaign aimed at swaying voters and favoring President Donald Trump’s candidacy during the 2016 election.

U.S. prosecutors are currently investigating whether Trump’s campaign worked with Moscow to win the election.

Trump has denied any collusion, and Moscow has also denied involvement.