Federal Bureaucrats Censored Public Concerns over Mail-In Ballots during 2020 Election, Docs Show

Unelected federal bureaucrats censored the concerns of the American people regarding the use of mail-in ballots during the 2020 election, newly obtained documents have revealed.

Public concerns about the election were censored by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA).

According to the newly released docs, CISA officials knew it was wrong to censor Americans voicing legitimate concerns but they did it anyway.

A tranche of documents was published by America First Legal (AFL) on Monday.

The docs alleged the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) CISA was aware ahead of the 2020 election that mail-in ballots were less secure than in-person voting.

They knew that mail-in votes carried a risk of voter fraud but sought to cover up this information and smear and suppress those who, accurately, suggested in-person voting was safer, AFL’s vice president and general counsel Gene Hamilton revealed.

As part of the campaign, the CISA undertook an “unprecedented censorship campaign to mislead the American people about the truth,” according to Hamilton.

“Common sense dictates that ballots submitted via mail are inherently less secure than verified, in-person voting by a citizen who shows identification before casting his or her ballot,” Hamilton said in a press release.

“The American people were lied to, and there must be accountability.”

AFL lawyer Michael Ding told The Epoch Times that the new documents were produced after AFL sued the CISA in November 2022.

Ding said AFL’s suit called for CISA to disclose documents it did not provide under an April 2022 Freedom of Information Act request.

Under a court-managed process, Ding said, documents are gradually materializing.

“As we get closer to election day this year,” Ding said.

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“I do hope that the election meddling and censorship that this agency engaged in during 2020 does not happen again.

“But ultimately, I think Americans need to hold these government officials accountable for trampling on their constitutional rights.”

The recently released documents detail how CISA acknowledged that mail-in voting carried more significant risks than in-person elections, yet it coordinated with technology companies to censor what it called “misinformation,” “disinformation,” or “malinformation” regarding the 2020 election.

Ahead of the 2020 vote, a wave of legislative changes were made in 23 states and the District of Columbia allowing Americans to vote by mail due to the supposed risks posed to voters by the COVID-19 virus.

By the fall of 2020, only voters in Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Tennessee, and Texas needed to report a reason to cast an absentee ballot by mail, according to internal CISA documents obtained by AFL. As early as September 2020 CISA knew mail-in voting would create significant problems, according to the documents.

An email replied to by Matthew Masterson, a senior cybersecurity advisor at CISA, on Sept. 24, 2020, revealed that the agency was aware of “three major challenges” with mail-in voting, observed during the primary elections.

Physically mailing and returning the ballots would be difficult, high numbers of ballots would be incorrectly completed, and there would likely be a shortage of personnel to process ballots, the email said.

Mr. Masterson’s email, referencing Wisconsin, said the state was short 700 poll workers and had to deploy 675 Wisconsin Army National Guard members to fill the gap.

That same email said the agency “could not conclude that voting … increased the spread of COVID.”

By October 2020, CISA had created an internal chart expanding on those risks. The chart, published by AFL, said, “For mail-in voting, some of the risk under the control of election officials during in-person voting shifts to outside entities, such as ballot printers, mail processing facilities, and the United States Postal Service.”

Also, in October 2020, CISA shared information about mail-in voting with members of the press during so-called unclassified media tours, according to newly-released emails.

Media outlets “covered up the evidence,” AFL said, choosing instead to report on statements made by then-CISA director Chris Krebs that downplayed the election integrity concerns raised by President Donald Trump.

At the time, the CISA ran a “rumor control” page reassuring Americans of the safety of mail-in balloting.

Simultaneously, the CISA was watching social media for any commentary on the integrity of mail-in voting.

It allegedly went so far as to contract multinational professional services company Deloitte to aid monitoring efforts.

Copies of “Elections Daily Digest” reports obtained and published by AFL showed Deloitte was preparing “daily social media trends” reports on the topics of voter suppression, COVID-19, vote-by-mail, election technology, and removed/flagged social media posts.

These reports included the number of daily mentions of each topic and assessments of “change in sentiment.”

“Deloitte’s reports provided CISA with confirmation that its social media monitoring and censorship apparatus was working,” AFL said in a release.

“CISA interfered in the 2020 presidential election.

“CISA knew that in-person voting did not increase the spread of Covid.

“CISA knew mail-in voting was less secure,” AFL said.

“CISA nevertheless supported policy changes to encourage unprecedented widespread mail-in voting.”

“CISA formed the Election Integrity Partnership 100 days before the 2020 election “to censor narratives relating to mail-in voting.”

The Election Integrity Partnership, which involved CISA and Stanford University’s Global Engagement Center, aimed to “censor Americans’ speech in the lead-up to the 2020 election,” according to a report published on Nov. 6, 2023, by the House Judiciary Committee and its Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government.

Washington-based AFL is led by Stephen Miller, who was a senior adviser to President Trump.

On the AFL website, Miller calls his organization an “answer to the ACLU” referring to the American Civil Liberties Union.

Ding said AFL first became interested in potential government censorship of electronic speech in July 2021.

At the time, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said in a press briefing that the White House was “flagging” posts for Meta’s Facebook and Instagram to remove.

The posts were what the Biden White House considered to be so-called “misinformation” about the COVID-19 vaccine.

AFL also expressed alarm when the DHS issued a National Terrorism Advisory System Bulletin in February 2022.

The bulletin declared “false or misleading narratives and conspiracy theories, and other forms of mis-, dis-, and mal-information, introduced and/or amplified by foreign and domestic threat actors,” as a “terrorism threat.”

That bulletin said the CISA was working with “public and private sector partners—including U.S. critical infrastructure owners and operators—to mitigate risk.”

AFL published the first round of documents in May 2023.

According to AFL, those documents detailed how CISA employees created both formal and informal partnerships with technology companies.

These un-American partnerships sought to monitor and flag accounts as well as delete posts that expressed wrongthink.

Moreover, the CISA employees, with official approval, allegedly set up back-channel electronic communications with private companies via Signal, a self-deleting messaging app.

Most notably, in the May round of documents, Brian Scully, a member of the CISA’s Countering Foreign Interference Task Force, detailed how the agency was working to both debunk unfavorable ideas.

Scully also revealed that the agency was working to “pre-bunk” specific stories before they spread online.

Ding said AFL’s CISA investigation is closely related to, but not directly involved with, the Missouri v. Biden First Amendment case.

The case is due to be considered by the Supreme Court as soon as March.

Missouri v. Biden, filed by the office of Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey, alleges the federal government coordinated with major technology companies to suppress social media posts that were politically disagreeable to the election campaign of then-candidate Biden in 2020.

For now, the Supreme Court has stayed an injunction that directly prevents the government from engaging in similar activities.

The injunction was previously confirmed by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Bailey, a Republican, previously told The Epoch Times he wishes to restore the national injunction and move ahead with his effort to “unroot and dismantle” what he called a “vast censorship enterprise.”

AFL will continue to publish more documents related to its suit against CISA as they are released.

READ MORE: CDC Covered Up Vax-Induced Heart Damage to Avoid Public ‘Panic,’ Email Reveals

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By Frank Bergman

Frank Bergman is a political/economic journalist living on the east coast. Aside from news reporting, Bergman also conducts interviews with researchers and material experts and investigates influential individuals and organizations in the sociopolitical world.

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