As a tornado of disinformation regarding the vote count has descended on Wisconsin, political spinmeisters have seized upon a lapse by a Milwaukee election officer to falsely claim evidence of voter fraud in a critical swing state decided by a little more than 20,000 votes. Claire Woodall-Vogg, Milwaukee’s chief election official, briefly misplaced a flash drive containing vote counts on Election Night, she said in a Nov. 9 letter to the Wisconsin Elections Commission. About 3 a.m. on Nov. 4, as poll workers finished counting absentee ballots in Milwaukee, she delivered several flash drives containing absentee vote tallies to the Milwaukee County Election Commission — and realized that she had left one in a tabulator at the central counting center. She called a member of her team, who retrieved the flash drive and a police officer delivered it shortly afterward. “I believe it is important to document that the flash drive was never left unattended and that the staff had remained in the room throughout the process,” Woodall-Vogg said. “The incident bears no impact on the validity of the results.” Nothing indicates that the contents of the flash drive were altered. Asked by Wisconsin Watch to address the incident, Reid Magney, spokesman for the bipartisan Wisconsin Elections Commission, said, “We are confident that there are no issues with the election results in Milwaukee.”
Top official on U.S. election cybersecurity tells associates he expects to be fired | Christopher Bing, Joseph Menn, and Raphael Satter/Reuters
Top U.S. cybersecurity official Christopher Krebs, who worked on protecting the election from hackers but drew the ire of the Trump White House over efforts to debunk disinformation, has told associates he expects to be fired, three sources familiar with the matter told Reuters. Krebs, who heads the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), did not return messages seeking comment. CISA and the White House declined comment. Separately, Bryan Ware, assistant director for cybersecurity at CISA, confirmed to Reuters that he had handed in his resignation on Thursday. Ware did not provide details, but a U.S. official familiar with his matter said the White House asked for Ware’s resignation earlier this week. The departure is part of the churn in the administration since Republican President Donald Trump was defeated by Democrat Joe Biden in last week’s election, raising concerns about the transition to the president-elect who would take office on Jan. 20. Trump, who has yet to concede and has repeatedly made unsubstantiated claims of electoral fraud, fired Defense Secretary Mark Esper and has installed loyalists in top positions at the Pentagon. Krebs has drawn praise from both Democrats and Republicans for his handling of the election, which generally ran smoothly despite persistent fears that foreign hackers might try to undermine the vote.