Pinellas officials say election integrity is intact as Uhuru leaders double-down on defense of Russia

Elections officials in Pinellas County are working to re-assure the public that the election system is safe. 

FOX 13 spoke with the Pinellas County deputy election supervisor, Dustin Chase, Monday following Friday’s bomb-shell indictment revealing an ongoing Russian operation allegedly to interfere with U.S. and local elections, possibly in coordination with the local chapter of the Uhuru movement. 

Chase called the allegations "disheartening," due to concerns that the news could ultimately deter some people from voting. 

"It Is a constitutional right to cast a ballot, and we want to make sure as many people can do that who are eligible, and we've got a full bouquet of possibilities for those people," said Chase.

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Chase noted this week the county’s election machines will be tested ahead of the upcoming elections. 

"We've spent the last six years making sure there's a process in place, an infrastructure in place to protect the security of the system.  There are chain of custody procedures, there are checks and balances, there are audits along all the way.  We take election integrity seriously," Chase said. 

Meanwhile, FOX 13 also spoke with members of the Uhuru movement again on Monday.  

Chimurenga Waller, a national director, doubled-down on the group’s claims that they did nothing wrong. 

"We'll continue to work with anyone who believes that colonialism exists in the United States," he said.

Friday, the Uhuru house was raided by the FBI following allegations of political collusion with a Russian national, connected to the Russian government. 

Screenshot of Youtube video showing man called Alexander Ionov and St. Pete Uhuru leader

In an indictment, the federal government accused the Russian of using U.S. political group members as secret Russian agents.  

The Uhuru’s haven’t denied the charges, instead claiming they have a different world view – that the U.S. government uses propaganda and lies.