Fact check: Democrat says 2020 election was 'most secure' in U.S. history

Posted November 18, 2020 4:00 p.m. EST
Updated November 18, 2020 6:14 p.m. EST

As President Donald Trump continues to spread baseless claims of widespread fraud and a "rigged" presidential election that left him the loser to Democrat Joe Biden, others have come to the defense of the American election system.

But does that group include officials in one of Trump’s own federal departments?

That was the claim from U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisconsin, in a Nov. 15, 2020 appearance on WISN-TV’s "UpFront" program.

"We heard from the Department of Homeland Security this week that this was probably the most secure election that’s ever been run in the United States," Baldwin said.

Is it true that some of the nation’s own top cybersecurity experts disagree with Trump?

Yes. Let’s take a look.

Department’s elections council released statement

On Nov. 12, 2020, officials from two Department of Homeland Security committees — the Election Infrastructure Sector Coordinating Council and the Election Infrastructure Government Coordinating Council overseeing cybersecurity — released a joint statement debunking their own boss’s rampant misinformation campaign.

"The November 3rd election was the most secure in American history," the statement says.

It’s normal for states with close contests to launch ballot recounts to allow for correction of mistakes, the statement also says, but adds there is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes or was in any way compromised.

"While we know there are many unfounded claims and opportunities for misinformation about the process of our elections, we can assure you we have the utmost confidence in the security and integrity of our elections, and you should too," the statement concludes.

Trump has pointedly refused to concede to Biden, and his administration has blocked typical transition measures aimed at a smooth transfer of power.

His unsubstantiated claims of fraud have prompted several prominent Republicans to call for investigations into election proceedings, including in Wisconsin, where the GOP-controlled Legislature will launch a probe into the election, which went to Biden by about 20,000 votes.

Trump has pledged to seek a recount in Wisconsin, though the top Republican in the Assembly has acknowledged it’s unlikely to change the outcome. The deadline to seek a recount — which election officials say could cost Trump’s campaign nearly $8 million — is Wednesday, Nov. 18.

PolitiFact ruling

PolitiFact: True

Baldwin claimed federal security officials called the Nov. 3, 2020 election the most secure in the country’s history.

She’s correct. The groups did so in direct conflict with what the president has been falsely claiming for weeks.

We rate Baldwin’s claim True.

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