It appears that the phrase "ensuring the election process occurred securely" means "ensuring that the election process had proceeded according to plan without being disturbed" (sorry I want to express the exact meaning, so the wording is awkward here). Am I on the right track?

Leaders of federal agencies responsible for ensuring the election process occurred securely attest they were successful, and no credible evidence has emerged to corroborate any claims suggesting otherwise.

Numerous courts have also rejected lawsuits brought by Republicans challenging the election, making military deployment among the last drastic options remaining for the president to try to remain in power.

Mr. Biden is set to be sworn in as president on Jan. 20.

Source: WashingtonTimes

  • 2
    Yes. There are federal agencies whose job is to ensure that the voting system is secure. The leaders of these agencies say they did this job successfully: making sure that the election was secure (not that the process was a success – it plainly was not, otherwise there would not have been so much dispute). Dec 20, 2020 at 17:21
  • 1
    The alternative phrasing [Leaders] who are responsible for ensuring that the election process occurred securely have attested that they were successful should make it easier to parse. Dec 20, 2020 at 19:08

1 Answer 1


Yes but you are splitting that phrase a bit oddly. You should parse it as:

[Leaders of federal agencies] [responsible for ensuring the election process occurred securely] [attest they were successful],

ie the leaders of the agencies, whose job it was to ensure the process was secure, claim that they succeeded in that job.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .