Below is a report on the LWVCC Taskforce on Misinformation About Elections. For more on this group, see their webpage on this site. Or click here to download the report.
The group countering misinformation about voting and elections has been keeping an eye on letters to the editor (LTE) in the News-Gazette. On April 11, 2021, we noticed one that may have undermined confidence in mail voting. Without providing any facts that such events have occurred in Illinois or elsewhere, the letter writer asserts drop boxes and remote mail boxes “could and eventually will” be vandalized. The writer then concludes that ballots would be stolen, thereby breaking the chain of custody for mail ballots. The letter goes on to conjure up the prospect that elections would have to be held again, incurring large costs and legal challenges:
Our team thought this LTE writer might have been misinformed or was not aware of mail voting security procedures. We wanted to provide that information to the writer and to the public.
Step 1: Get the Facts
We emailed our contact in the County Clerk’s office, who outlined the security procedures that this office follows:
Step 2: Use the Facts to Respond
Using this information, members of the group honed a response. Our letter presented authoritative information, presented calmly and clearly. We couched the letter as an effort of the League to provide the community with solid information about the issue. We submitted it over Trisha Crowley’s signature as League president. The LTE appeared in the News-Gazette on June 6.
Voting by mail is safe, secure
Our letter leveraged the League’s reputation as a nonpartisan, trustworthy source of information in order to debunk charges that could undermine confidence in election procedures that include voting by mail.
Our group continues to pursue this method of countering misinformation in the local media. Let us know if you see something in the paper, on the internet, or in social media. It is important to reply to both misinformation and deliberate disinformation and not let them circulate unchallenged.
More information about the Misinformation About Elections Task Force.
This announcement was adapted from an email from the President of the Illinois League of Women Voters (LWVIL), July 16, 2021. See the LWVIL website Action Alerts page for other suggestions on taking action.
In a recent speech about challenges to voting rights, President Biden said, “I’m not saying this to alarm you, I’m saying this because you should be alarmed.”
The League of Women Voters of Illinois is alarmed. I am alarmed, are you?
I am alarmed because across our country state legislatures are passing bills which are anti-voter, enacting laws which restrict voting opportunities, disproportionality suppressing the votes of certain groups of people. The health of our democracy depends on more voters, not fewer.
What’s the answer? It is the For the People Act - a federal bill which establishes national standards that will guarantee the freedom to vote for every voter in the country. Why? Because your right to vote and your access to the ballot should be the same in every state in our country.
Each of us must act to protect our democracy. We all have two jobs:
Be the trusted source of information for your friends, your family, your neighbors, your faith group, your book club … call, write, send emails, share LWVIL’s Facebook, Instagram and Twitter messages. Ask people to do the same. Everyone needs to know how important this is, and everyone needs to take action. We all need the For the People Act
Allyson E. Haut, Ph.D. President, League of Women Voters of Illinois
The announcement below was adapted from an article in Capitol News Illinois. The full article can be found here.
Public high schools in Illinois will soon be required to teach students how to access and evaluate various kinds of news and social media they see online and elsewhere as part of their regular curriculum. That was among the 53 bills that Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed on Friday, bringing the total number of bills signed from the current General Assembly so far this year to 97.
House Bill 234 provides that starting in the 2022-23 school year, all public high schools will provide a unit of instruction on media literacy that will include instruction on how to access information and evaluate the trustworthiness of its source; analyzing and evaluating media messages; creating media messages; assessing how media messages trigger emotions and behavior; and social responsibility.
The State Board of Education is tasked with preparing and distributing instructional resources and making professional learning opportunities available for educators.
The bill was sponsored by Rep. Elizabeth Hernandez, D-Cicero, and Sen. Karina Villa, D-West Chicago. It passed both chambers largely along party lines: 68-44 in the House, and 42-15 in the Senate.
LWVCC has a taskforce on Misinformation About Elections. See this page on this site to follow their progress and learn about resources.
This webinar is the second in a series sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Champaign County, Bend the Arc Jewish Action Champaign-Urbana, Epsilon Epsilon Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., and Mt. Calvary Missionary Baptist Church. The webinar is 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm on July 14. To register, go to:
The struggle for voting rights in this country has been uneven since the 1950s. We've experienced a national expansion through the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and its renewals—only to have a key provision of that Act gutted by a 2013 Supreme Court decision. In Illinois we've experienced an expansion of early and mail voting opportunities—while at the same time other states have taken steps to suppress the vote by creating obstacles and restricting those same opportunities.
How have voting rights expanded and narrowed over the last 60+ years? Where do those rights stand today? And what are some options for action both in Illinois and nationally?
Join Ami Gandhi, Senior Counsel at Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights, to learn more about our voting rights—how we got to where we are today, and how we in Illinois can take action to secure our right to vote.
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