Christopher A. Wray
Federal Bureau of Investigation
Washington, D.C.
May 13, 2024

Director Wray's Remarks at the Department of Justice Election Threats Task Force Meeting

Remarks, as prepared for delivery

Thank you, Attorney General [Merrick B.] Garland and [Deputy Attorney General] Lisa [O. Monaco], for bringing this group together and for your leadership with the Election Threats Task Force. I also want to thank everyone here today for the important work you do to protect our elections.

Election workers—many of whom are volunteers, all of whom are public servants—are the lifeblood of our elections. From the local officials and employees who administer elections to the poll workers who staff voting sites on Election Day, election workers play a critical role in ensuring all eligible citizens can freely exercise their fundamental right to vote. And they deserve our gratitude for that vital work.

Unfortunately, too often, all across the country, election workers have instead faced threats in the run up to and even after elections. Let me be clear: Any threat of violence to an election official, volunteer, or staff is completely unacceptable and something the FBI takes very seriously. And we’re committed to ensuring threats to election workers receive the swift and thorough response they deserve, whether that’s through federal investigation and prosecution or a referral to our state and local partners.

That commitment is reflected in the work of the Election Threats Task Force, where—working with our DOJ partners—we’ve recently secured more than a dozen convictions for threats specifically targeting election officials. The work the task force does builds on the efforts of the election crimes coordinators the FBI has in place all across the country.

For years, each of our 56 field offices has had election crimes coordinators: special agents and intelligence analysts who stand ready to field threats if they arise and coordinate a response. When it comes to protecting elections, partnership and preparation are key. So our election crimes coordinators work closely—not just with operational and intelligence personnel at FBI Headquarters—but also with state and local election officials, local law enforcement, and our intelligence partners.

We’re helping build resilience by sharing threat information, trends, and best practices based on our nationwide perspective. We’re taking steps now to prepare for the full range of potential election threats and ensuring lines of communication are open so we can share threat information quickly. And when it comes to threats of violence—even though state and local law enforcement are the lead when it comes to physical security—we’re committed to vigorously investigating and pursuing violations of federal law and to making sure all calls and reports of threats get to the right place. 

The work election workers do to ensure our elections are free and fair could not be more important, and we’re committed to doing our part to make sure they can do that work free from threats of violence or intimidation.

Thank you.