How It Started: Members of our chapter who are concerned about the misinformation, distortions and confusion bombarding us in social media and on the internet, as well as in traditional media, have formed a task force to plan effective responses. The task force started at a March 2021 LWVCC meeting, when Karen Fresco and Ann Prisland described the campaign being organized by our sister league in Metro Phoenix to counter the Big Lie about the 2020 election (see the article in the April 2021 issue of The Voter), several attendees and others decided to meet again. The Voter Registration team already had a group of “misinformation detectives” monitoring the media, but the chapter wanted to consider additional initiatives.
Purpose: The initial task force agreed that we should look forward to coming elections and bolster confidence in the democratic process by getting the facts out and educating the community about voting and elections. The goal will be to share accurate information widely, ideally before misinformation can take hold.
Task Force Members: Pat Babich, Trisha Crowley, Kathy Hatch, Paula Kaufman, Sara Kelley, Beth Martin, Ruth Mitchell, Jean Paley, Ann Panthen, Ann Prisland, Jenny Putman, Cecile Steinberg, Karl Weingartner, Mary Ellen Wuellner, Joan Zernich
Ideas Under Consideration
On April 8 and 23, 2021, the task force met to discuss how the League’s reputation as a source of trustworthy, non-partisan information could be leveraged to combat misinformation. Some ideas under consideration:
- ask people who have served at the polls recently to post a positive comment about their experience on Facebook;
- ask community leaders to record short videos saying why voting is important to them,
- post these videos on Facebook and group them on the League’s website;
- provide information and share ways to take action on Illinois election law changes.