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Pennsylvania launches election threats task force ahead of 2024 presidential race

PENNSYLVANIA — Governor Josh Shapiro announced Thursday the creation of the Pennsylvania Election Threats Task Force, designed to ensure a safe, secure, free and fair 2024 presidential race.

“Pennsylvania is the birthplace of American democracy, and we are working to continue defending Pennsylvanians’ fundamental freedoms and ensure we have a free, fair, safe, secure election this November. As Attorney General, I brought law enforcement leaders at every level together to ensure our elections remained free from fraud, interference, and intimidation here in Pennsylvania – and I made a commitment to continuing that work as Governor,” said Shapiro. “We take our responsibility as stewards of our democracy seriously and the Election Threats Task Force will ensure all levels of government are working together to combat misinformation, safeguard the rights of every citizen, and ensure this election is safe, secure, free and fair.”

The governor’s office said the task force is comprised of federal, state and local security, law enforcement and election administration partners who are working together to share information and coordinate plans to mitigate threats to the election process, protect voters from intimidation, and provide voters with accurate, trusted election information.

Participants in the task force include representatives from the following government organizations:

  • Governor’s Office
  • Office of General Counsel
  • Department of State
  • Department of Military and Veteran’s Affairs
  • Office of State Inspector General
  • U.S. Attorney’s Offices for the Eastern, Middle, and Western Districts of Pennsylvania
  • Pennsylvania’s Office of the Attorney General
  • County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania (CCAP)
  • Representatives from among the Commonwealth’s county election directors
  • U.S. Department of Homeland Security
  • Pennsylvania State Police
  • Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Office of Administration’s Office of Information Technology
  • Governor’s Office of Homeland Security
  • Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency
  • Pennsylvania National Guard

The governor’s office said the task force’s purpose is to establish clear, strategic communication and information sharing among public agencies and officials to identify and mitigate threats to the election process.

“Every eligible Pennsylvania voter has the right to cast their vote safely and securely,” said Pennsylvania State Police Colonel Christopher Paris. “The Pennsylvania State Police is committed to working with our partners to ensure voters are safe and any threats are mitigated.”

In recent years, the commonwealth has strengthened election administration by adopting new voting systems with auditable paper trails that changed how voters cast their ballot, as well as the introduction of no-excuse mail-in voting in 2020.

“In recent years, we’ve seen bad-faith actors attempt to exploit these changes by spreading lies and baseless conspiracy theories, and attempting to delegitimize our safe, secure, and accurate elections,” said Secretary of the Commonwealth Al Schmidt. “This task force has been working together to develop and coordinate plans to combat this dangerous misinformation and continue providing all eligible voters with accurate, trusted election information. Together with Governor Shapiro and our local, state, and federal partners, we will continue working to ensure we have another free and fair, safe and secure election.”

For more information about election security in Pennsylvania, visit the Department of State’s website, vote.pa.gov.

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