US federal election officials have said the 2020 White House vote was the “most secure in American history”, rejecting President Donald Trump’s fraud claims.
“There is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised,” the committee announced.
They spoke out after Mr Trump claimed without proof 2.7 million votes for him were “deleted” in last week’s election.
He has yet to concede to the projected winner, Democrat Joe Biden.
The result was called by US media last weekend but some counting continues.
Mr Trump has launched a flurry of legal challenges to projected results in key states and levelled unsubstantiated allegations of widespread electoral fraud.
What did the election officials say?
A Department of Homeland Security unit that worked on safeguarding US voting systems for the 3 November presidential election issued a joint statement on Thursday.
The committee of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (Cisa) said: “While we know there are many unfounded claims and opportunities for misinformation about the process of our elections, we can assure you we have the utmost confidence in the security and integrity of our elections, and you should too.
“When you have questions, turn to elections officials as trusted voices as they administer elections.”
The head of Cisa, Christopher Krebs, has said he expects to be fired by the Trump administration, according to Reuters news agency.
It reported that Mr Krebs had incurred the White House’s displeasure over a Cisa website called Rumor Control, which debunks election misinformation.
On Thursday, Mr Krebs shared a post by an election law expert that said: “Please don’t retweet wild and baseless claims about voting machines, even if they’re made by the president.”
Cisa assistant director Bryan Ware stepped down on Thursday. The White House had asked for his resignation earlier this week, Reuters reports.
In a separate development, former President Barack Obama – a Democrat – said senior Republicans were undermining democracy by going along with President Trump’s claims of fraud.
“It’s one more step in delegitimising not just the incoming Biden administration, but democracy generally, and that’s a dangerous path,” he told CBS News ahead of the release of his new memoir, A Promised Land.
How are Republicans reacting?
A small but growing number of Republicans are backing calls for the president-elect to be given daily intelligence briefings.
Lindsey Graham, a key Trump ally, was among those saying Mr Biden should get the secret presidential memo, as is usual with incoming presidents.
Chuck Grassley, John Cornyn and John Thune agreed, although House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said Mr Biden was “not president right now” and should wait.
Between 10 and 20 Republicans in Congress have now either congratulated Mr Biden or accepted there must be moves towards a transition. But most have yet to acknowledge the president-elect’s win.
The president tweeted on Thursday that voting software used in 28 states had deleted millions of votes for him, but presented no evidence for the stunning claim.