President Biden announced he is extending for another year the terms of a 2018 executive order (EO) that declares foreign interference in U.S. elections a national emergency and a threat to foreign policy.
President Trump first issued the EO on Sept. 12, 2018, creating a structure to evaluate whether any foreign actors were attempting to influence U.S. elections, and authorizing the government to impose sanctions against foreign individuals and entities for election meddling.
These sanctions could include having U.S.-based assets frozen, and being cut off from doing business with U.S. financial institutions.
“Although there has been no evidence of a foreign power altering the outcomes or vote tabulation in any United States election, foreign powers have historically sought to exploit America’s free and open political system,” President Biden said in a Sept. 7 notice.
“In recent years, the proliferation of digital devices and internet-based communications has created significant vulnerabilities and magnified the scope and intensity of the threat of foreign interference,” President Biden said. “The ability of persons located, in whole or in substantial part, outside the United States to interfere in or undermine public confidence in United States elections, including through the unauthorized accessing of election and campaign infrastructure or the covert distribution of propaganda and disinformation, continues to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States.”
Due to these continuing vulnerabilities and foreign threats, President Biden plans to extend the EO beyond Sept. 12, for one year.