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Wednesday, December 07, 2022

Election leaders urge openness to address misinformation

Election leaders urge openness to address misinformation

MADSON, Wis. ( Associated Press) — The key to dispelling conspiracy theories and misinformation about how elections are run is confronting the lies, the state’s top election officials said Wednesday.

The advice from election administrators in Georgia, Ohio and Utah came during a meeting of the National Association of State Election Directors, which is being held under tight security. Because of the threats that have targeted election workers since the 2020 election.

“When it comes to election results, it’s actually pretty simple,” said Georgia state election director Blake Evans. “People want accuracy, speed, transparency, and they want their candidate to win. Unfortunately, usually under a formula like that, a close contest is going to have less than half the population, which is the way to go. Not going to be very happy with it.”

Election officials across the country have been the target of violent threats And the anger of those who believed the 2020 presidential election to be false was stolen from former President Donald Trump. Trump and his allies are pushing for cancellation of certification Following the victory of President Joe Biden in Wisconsin.

Keeping in mind the security concerns, the exact location of this week’s gathering was disclosed only to those attendees who were required to show a badge to gain entry as well as a name tag identifying themselves outside the meeting room. urged not to wear There was no live-streaming of the presentations, and attendees were urged to be cautious in what they posted on social media.

In Georgia, a special grand jury Investigating whether Trump and others tried to illegally interfere in the 2020 general election. The scope of the investigation includes a January 2, 2021, phone call between Trump and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Riffensperger. During that call, Trump urged Riffensperger to “find” enough votes to reverse his loss in the state. Trump has denied wrongdoing and called his call to Raffensperger “absolute”.

Evans said the key to eliminating misinformation during the state’s 2020 election was to address false claims, a process that involved frequent news conferences.

“I hate to imagine a world where we didn’t,” Blake said about opening up about all the conspiracy theories in 2020. “I think it was one of the most effective ways. … What we tried to do was put the facts very, very frequently and be very, very transparent about what was happening. .

Ricky Hatch, clerk and auditor in Weber County, Utah, said election officials must find creative ways to get their messages out. His office has created memes using Lego and cats, an approach he said has led him to engage with people who might otherwise not be interested in polls.

Hatch even opened his office to show how elections are run. Even though just one person won about the fairness of how elections are conducted, it is a success, he said.

“They’ll talk to their neighbors,” Hatch said. “When others challenge the process they will hopefully share their experience.”

Amanda Grandjean, the director of elections in Ohio, said it’s important to realize that many of the people election leaders talk to — including judges and lawmakers — don’t understand how elections work. He released his experience testifying Before a panel of federal judges in a redistribution case ahead of Ohio’s May primary.

“I really had to check myself out and say ‘No Mandi, these people have no idea what you’re talking about,'” she told conference attendees. “Slow down and do your best to explain how our democracy, on a very technical level, is how our elections work.”

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