CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The 2020 election cycle is around the corner and United States Attorney Mike Stuart and West Virginia Secretary of State Mac Warner are joining forces to ensure security.

This comes on the heels of an attempted intrusion by an outside party into the West Virginia military mobile voting system during the 2018 election.

Stuart and Warner held a joint press conference on Tuesday afternoon at the Robert C. Byrd United States Courthouse in Charleston to discuss what went on in 2018 and promise nothing like that will work in 2020.

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Mac Warner

“I want to assure everyone that during the most recent election not one vote was changed in West Virginia,” Warner said. “The influence attempts have been directed at our minds, at influencing public opinion. There is absolutely no evidence anywhere that actual votes were changed, or election night reporting has been compromised.”

Stuart would not call it a criminal investigation or give many details but said the Federal Bureau of Investigation is leading the case.

“I note that there was no intrusion and the integrity of votes and the election system was not compromised,” Stuart said.

Mike Stuart

“My office instituted an investigation to determine the facts and whether any federal laws were violated. The FBI has led that investigation.”

Warner backs Stuart’s statement saying the election process worked as designed.

According to a release from Warner’s office, the application utilizes multiple layers of biometric security, both facial recognition and thumbprint, for identity verification, as well as Blockchain technology and voter-verified ballot receipts for security.

Several security audits were conducted before and after the election, his office said, and to date, the audits and assessments have all resulted in positive results.

Warner said the app was designed in the 2018 election to make it easy for soldiers to vote.

“There is no greater threat to our way of life and democracy than the threat of compromised elections,” Stuart said. “The reliability of our election system and the sanctity of every vote is something we should never have to question.

“If you are a party – any party – or an individual – any individual – that intentionally compromises or attempts to intentionally compromise our election systems, the security related to our election systems, or the legitimacy of the votes cast by citizens, my office will prosecute you to the fullest extent of the law.”

October is Cybersecurity Month.

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