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.