A Hyper-Partisan and Coordinated Disinformation Campaign Threatens Free and Fair Elections, Advocates Tell Congress
WASHINGTON, D.C. – One year ahead of the 2022 midterms, 58 groups including MoveOn.org, Protect Democracy, Public Citizen, SEIU, Sierra Club, and dozens of others are warning of “the very real possibility that the outcome of an election could be ignored and the will of the people overturned by hyperpartisan actors.”
In an open letter, the groups cite widespread disinformation campaigns, intimidation of election officials and administrators, new partisan state laws, and outright violence as some of the tactics used in a widespread campaign to undermine faith in elections.
“We are deeply concerned that the events of 2020 could be repeated in future elections – perhaps to more devastating effect,” the groups note.
The letter cites efforts to overturn the 2020 election due to election fraud – with no evidence to support such claims. “In several states, Trump supporters have used these unfounded conspiracy theories as an excuse to launch hyper-partisan reviews of the 2020 election. These reviews are being led by unqualified and biased individuals, and are best understood not as an attempt to uncover the truth—as the truth is already well known, often through multiple legitimate reviews—but rather as another part of the effort to spread disinformation and sow doubt in our elections.”
The letter calls on all members of Congress to condemn attacks on elections, and enact critical provisions to protect federal elections and elections officials from partisan attacks and subversion, such as those included in the Freedom to Vote Act. The Act includes critical measures to safeguard elections, prevent voter intimidation, protect local election officials from partisan attacks, and protect election works and election infrastructure against threats or violence. The letter also looks to state action and legal remedies.
“The bill does not and cannot address every threat to free and fair elections nationwide, but these are critical components that can stem some of the corrosive policies being put in place or threatened in communities across the country,” says the letter.