Election officials ramp up efforts to fight 'wave of misinformation and mistrust' ahead of 2024: report

Election officials ramp up efforts to fight 'wave of misinformation and mistrust' ahead of 2024: report

Election officials, legislators and advocates across the country, who are mostly Democrats, are fighting "the wave of misinformation and mistrust of elections" fueled by election deniers in preparation for the 2024 presidential election, The Washington Post reported on Wednesday.

Inspired by former President Donald Trump's false claims of election fraud during the 2020 election, election deniers have forced election officials and administrators to adhere to "demands that go beyond their official powers — to stop using electronic voting equipment, to hand-count all ballots, to end mail voting or to refuse to certify results."

Per The Post, this "pressure and abuse" has caused "hundreds" of officials to step down from their roles.

READ MORE: 'Corporate America' is now funding the election deniers it once condemned: report'

Now, many Democratic officials are implementing practices to fight against the "election denialism" plaguing many GOP supporters and officials, which will likely persist in the coming year.

The Post reported:

When the new Arizona attorney general took office last month, she repurposed a unit once exclusively devoted to rooting out election fraud to focus on voting rights and ballot access.

In North Carolina on Tuesday, the State Board of Elections began proceedings that could end with the removal of a county election officer who had refused to certify the 2022 results even as he acknowledged the lack of evidence of irregularities.

And later this week, a group of secretaries of state will showcase a 'Democracy Playbook' that includes stronger protections for election workers and penalties for those who spread misinformation.

READ MORE: Koch group throws support behind two election deniers after dumping Trump

"We want to protect the people who protect democracy," said Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson (D). "Individuals who intentionally spread misinformation that then leads to threats or worse targeting election officials are just as culpable and should be held culpable just as those who are actually exercising the threats themselves."

Regarding heightened violence from election deniers, Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes (D) said, "We're facing a new world in which elections officials are experiencing death threats, in which voters are being intimidated by people showing up at the ballot box, at voting centers, wearing body armor and carrying guns, and in which the Republican Party is trying to undermine vote-by-mail. Those are all things that I think this unit can and should now be focused on."

AlterNet previously reported Solomon Peña, an ex-GOP candidate was arrested after he conspired a series of drive-by shootings targeting Democratic lawmakers, claiming his election was "rigged."

Benson is collaborating with Lansing, Michigan legislators to hike up punishments for those who "threaten election officials or releasing private information about them," and taking steps to propose a law that would legislation that would make spreading election misinformation illegal, according to The Post.

READ MORE: 'Failed Republican candidate' arrested as 'key suspect' in series of drive-by shootings at lawmakers’ homes

NPR reports Pennsylvania is "still grappling with the aftermath of the 2020 election," as the state continues to be "a hotbed for election deniers and misinformation."

William Martin, an election official in suburban Philadelphia said, "I am profoundly offended to listen to baseless allegations of fraud against me and against other county workers. It's time to put up or shut up. If you think there is fraud, sue me. Sue me! Sue me personally. Because then when it gets thrown out, I'll sue you for abuse of process. Sue me!"

Executive director of the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania, Lisa Schaefer, contends "Those counties are dealing with people who, over and over, no matter how many times they've seen the evidence of the integrity of the election, continue to come and yell and be insulting."

Canton, Michigan Township Clerk Michael Siegrist reiterated the need to enforce penalties for all forms of election denialism.

READ MORE: 'Loser, loser, loser, loser': Chris Christie dings Donald Trump's list of failed election deniers

"Someone’s going to have to bring some charges against some folks," Siegrist told The Post. "This notion of, 'I'm going to come in and try to re-litigate an election afterwards in the court of public opinion,' especially if it relates to a scheme to overturn the validity of an election — that stuff just needs to have consequences."

The Washington Post's full report is available at this link. NPR's can be viewed here.

READ MORE: 'College-educated voters just aren’t into MAGA': Conservative slams Arizona election deniers for GOP losses

Understand the importance of honest news ?

So do we.

The past year has been the most arduous of our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be catastrophic not only to our health - mental and physical - but also to the stability of millions of people. For all of us independent news organizations, it’s no exception.

We’ve covered everything thrown at us this past year and will continue to do so with your support. We’ve always understood the importance of calling out corruption, regardless of political affiliation.

We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, no matter the amount, makes a difference in allowing our newsroom to bring you the stories that matter, at a time when being informed is more important than ever. Invest with us.

Make a one-time contribution to Alternet All Access, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.

Click to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card
Donate by Paypal
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}
@2022 - AlterNet Media Inc. All Rights Reserved. - "Poynter" fonts provided by fontsempire.com.