Director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center William Evanina speaks during the Reuters Cybersecurity Summit…
FILE - William Evanina, director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, speaks during the Reuters Cybersecurity Summit in Washington, Oct. 31, 2017.

The director of the U.S. National Counterintelligence and Security Center has warned that Russia, China, Iran and other countries are meddling in U.S. political campaigns as the November 3 general election draws closer.

“We see our adversaries seeking to compromise the private communications of U.S. political campaigns, candidates and other political targets,” William Evanina said Friday in a statement.

Evanina said that while the United States “is primarily concerned with China, Russia and Iran,” other countries and “nonstate actors” could also try to “harm our electoral process.”

Picture of wires plugged on laptop computers taken as people work on January 22, 2019 in Lille during the 11th International…
US Cybersecurity Experts See Recent Spike in Chinese Digital Espionage
The report said it was ‘one of the broadest campaigns by a Chinese cyber espionage actor we have observed in recent years"

China is trying to influence the “policy environment” in the U.S. with the intent of affecting the presidential race between President Donald Trump and presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, Evanina said.

He said “internet trolls and other proxies” are among a variety of disinformation campaigns Russia is using to “undermine confidence in our democratic process.”

Iran is also spreading disinformation online and via social media in an attempt to “undermine U.S. democratic institutions and divide the country in advance of the elections,” he added.

Evanina said the U.S. intelligence community would continue to watch for “malicious cyber actors” and touted the robust security of state election systems in the U.S. that make it “extraordinarily difficult for foreign adversaries to broadly disrupt or change vote tallies without detection.”

He called on the American people to help ensure an orderly election by consuming information with a “critical eye” and by practicing “good cyber hygiene and media literacy.” The NCSC director also urged citizens to report suspicious activity to authorities.

VOA's Jeff Seldin contributed to this report.

What Happens Next?

What It Means to Become President-Elect in the US

In the United States, Democrat Joe Biden is being called the president-elect.

President-elect is a descriptive term not an official office. As such, Biden has no power in the government, and he would not until he is inaugurated at noon on January 20, 2021.

American news networks, which track all of the vote counting, determined on November 7 that Biden’s lead had become insurmountable in Pennsylvania, putting him over the 270 electoral votes needed to be president. Within minutes of determining his lead was mathematically assured, they projected him as the winner.

That is why news organizations, including VOA, are calling Biden the "projected winner."

Sometimes, in the case of particularly close elections, when news networks make this call, the other candidate does not concede victory. President Donald Trump has not done so, alleging voter fraud without substantial evidence and vowing to fight on. The president’s position has left Washington lawmakers divided, with Republicans backing a legal inquiry into allegations of vote fraud, even as they celebrate other congressional lawmakers who won their races.

When will the dispute be resolved?

The U.S. election won’t be officially certified for weeks. In the meantime, court challenges and state recounts could occur.

So far, the Trump administration has not provided evidence for any fraud that could overturn the result, but there is still time for more legal challenges.

Once states have certified the vote, pledged electors then cast their votes in the Electoral College in mid-December. Congress then certifies the overall Electoral College result in early January, about two weeks before Inauguration Day.