Tensions are high surrounding this year's presidential election, with nationwide concerns about rigging polls, or even threats of violence. This has local, state and federal officials in Boston monitoring the elections and the internet to keep things fair, secure and peaceful.

Boston FBI Special-Agent-In Charge Joseph Bonavolonta recently announced the appointment of election crime coordinators to monitor the three major activities that come into play during elections: voter suppression, disinformation and cyberattacks. He said that in 2020, you can bet that foreign actors are attempting all three.

“That's China, Russia and Iran, where they look to illegally influence the United States political process. And furthermore, they try to undermine the public's confidence in our democratic institutions or processes,” Bonavolonta said.

Kevin Powers, founder and director of the Cybersecurity and Governance program at Boston College, said that domestic cybercriminals are a threat, too, and come from all sides of the political spectrum.

“They want to send a political message that this election, no matter how it goes, you can't trust the integrity,” Power said. “They want to cause disruption.”

Gina Quan, chief of the criminal bureau in Attorney General Maura Healey’s office, said this year they are being especially vigilant about voter rights and voter interference.

Quan reminded people who have voted by mail to track their ballots to make sure they were counted. She said she wants people to know that if there are threats of violence, federal command posts are ready and police officers are stationed at every polling place in Massachusetts. Should legal challenges occur at the polls themselves, Quan said, there are monitors to certify election results are valid.