First story today is about a warning from the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It's telling Americans to be on guard against disinformation in the upcoming presidential election. Disinformation is not only false information or fake news, it's false information that's spread intentionally to influence the public or cause instability and the FBI says people in other countries may be trying to spread disinformation when it comes to the results of the election.
That's scheduled to take place on November 3rd. Most of the time Americans know the winner on election night. There's no law that requires results then, it's tradition. But especially this year, results may not be known on November 3rd because of greater interest in mail-in voting.
In the past, most Americans have voted in person at polling places. The PEW Research Center says the share of mailed in ballots was just over 20 percent in 2016. But that's been rising steadily since 1996 and it's expected to increase more in this election because of concerns about the possible spread of coronavirus at public polling places.
With mail-in voting, state governments may not receive all of their ballots by election night and it may take a while to count them once they do come in. So what the FBI is concerned about is disinformation being spread while Americans wait for national results.
The agency's director has said there's evidence that Russia is trying to interfere in the election. But the FBI says to protect themselves, Americans should get their election information through trustworthy sources like official government websites, especially if they hear about delayed voting or results and the FBI cautions people to watch out for unverified info on social media.