Democrats propose to 'criminalize election misinformation'

"Some of the proposals," The New York Times reports "include... criminalizing election misinformation."

Libby Emmons Brooklyn NY
Democrats are working hard to retain their hold on power, and nowhere is that motivation clearer than their attack on free and fair voting practices. One of the Democrats' plans is to criminalize what they call election "misinformation."

"Some of the proposals," The New York Times reports "include... criminalizing election misinformation."

The Democrats' have used the term "misinformation" to refer to information that they believe poses a challenge to their power. As regards voting, they have said that it is "misinformation" to state concerns about ballot harvesting, mail-in voting, or even concerns over misprinted ballots that are unable to be read by voting machines.

In Maricopa County, Arizona, election officials had to apologize for broken machines during the 2022 midterm elections. Concerns over voting integrity in that state are called misinformation anyway.

In 2020, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi pressed for mail-in voting to be expanded to prevent the spread of Covid. She said this would protect the "integrity of the election." This push was made throughout 2020. Arguments against mail-in voting being the best way to vote have been called misinformation. Meanwhile, entire mechanisms of voting were upended across the 50 states to accommodate Covid fears.

Michigan's secretary of state under Governor Gretchen Whitmer, Jocelyn Benson, is very interested in seeing "sweeping new rules and penalties for disseminating and amplifying misinformation that interferes with voting," The New York Times reports. These include everything from actual fabrications, to concerns expressed over voting procedure, voting machines, or misprinted ballot issues.

"The greatest threats to our democracy right now continue to be the intentional spread of misinformation and the threats and harassment of election officials that emerge from those efforts," Benson said.

"We owe it to voters on all sides to ensure we are seeking accountability for anyone who would intentionally try to essentially block someone from voting through misinformation," she said.

The House Oversight Committee in August claimed that "the greatest current threat to democratic legitimacy now comes from lies by domestic actors who seek to convince Americans that their election systems are fraudulent, corrupt, or insecure." They used their findings to press for federal control over states' election processes.

"The findings indicate that strong federal leadership is needed to support the state and local officials responsible for running our elections," they wrote, taking aim at election integrity laws such as the requiring of voter ID. They further claimed that any concerns about the sudden increase of mail-in voting, inspired by the pandemic, was merely misinformation.

Much of the effort by Democrats is on "restoring trust" by silencing opposition questions, as opposed to answering the questions and addressing concerns.

The House Oversight Committee recommended that "The President should designate a lead federal agency or office to support state and local efforts to counter election misinformation. He should direct relevant agencies to coordinate with the lead agency on overall approaches, chains of communication, and best practices for advancing accurate information about the election process.

"The lead agency should establish and maintain contact with state and local election administrators and other organizations that engage in voter contact and registration, as well as social media and legacy media platforms."

It was recently revealed in the Twitter Files that the Biden administration was in close touch with social media companies to push the administration's narrative above all else, and Twitter employees, specifically, did as they were told, both as a result of their own bias and government pressure.

In Pennsylvania, incoming governor Josh Shapiro wants votes to be counted before election day, these include votes cast early and absentee ballots. He feels sure he can push this through despite any GOP opposition.

Arizona's incoming Governor Katie Hobbs, who would not debate her opponent Kari Lake during the election, and then oversaw the elections from her position as secretary of state, has said that she doesn't even plan to talk to Republican leaders in the state senate.

"These people are claiming fraud when there is none, these people mounted an insurrection on the Capitol, they’re the ones who have broken the trust," Hobbs said. "You can’t coddle these people that have been misled by the people they have upheld as leaders. These so-called leaders need to be held accountable."

The House Oversight Committee recommended "Additional guidance for local law enforcement, FBI’s field offices, and others who work on the front lines of elections that shows how federal laws can be used to deter threats and hold those accountable who threaten election officials."

It is unclear as to how far-reaching the concept of "threats" actually goes, if it reaches misinformation, as Benson suggests, or stops at threats of physical violence.

Many states are moving toward "automatic registration" for voters, so that people are registered to vote when they interact with the government for other purposes, such as getting a license.

As Republicans in many states seek to make elections more secure, Democrats seek to register those who are not yet eligible to vote, expand early voting, mail-in voting, ballot harvesting and drop boxes, increase voting by college students who only live in state during the school year, and pose challenges to state-approved redistricting procedures.

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