Biden officials confront limits of federal response in exercise preparing for 2024 election threats

February 10, 2024

Carolyn Kaster/AP/FileUS national security officials have to weigh whether publicly calling attention to disinformation might inadvertently amplify the very message they’re trying to bat down. In both scenarios, federal officials favored a muted public response, largely choosing to let state and local governments take the lead. State and local officials run elections and are more trusted voices in their communities, but how can federal officials act decisively to support them? “It’s a trick box,” said Adam Hickey, who worked on election security issues for the Justice Department’s National Security Division. “[W]e prioritize tabletop exercises that integrate the range of cyber, physical, and operational threats election officials may encounter,” Conley said in a statement to CNN.