Editorials: Intentionally deceiving voters should be a crime | Sean Morales-Doyle & Sidni Frederick/The Hill

Democrats in the House and Senate recently introduced the Deceptive Practices and Voter Intimidation Prevention Act, a bill that would prohibit the spread of false election information that’s specifically meant to prevent voters from casting ballots. (Full disclosure: Our organization, the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law, helped draft earlier versions of this legislation.) The bills’ introduction came in a week that has seen an attempted hack of the emails of three 2018 Senate campaigns and revealed a trove of fake Facebook pages and accounts likely meant to stir chaos as we approach midterms – reminders that the integrity of our elections is increasingly fragile in the digital age.

Those seeking to interfere in our midterms have a growing toolbox, built on techniques of voter deception and intimidation that America’s elections have weathered before. While these most recent revelations concern hacks and phony activism, it was just a couple months ago that Special Counsel Robert Mueller indicted foreign actors who used social media accounts to try to convince voters to just stay home in the 2016 election. As we approach the November election, there’s every reason to believe bad actors will try the same thing again.

While social media platforms and regulators struggle to respond to the age of online misinformation and mayhem, the Deceptive Practices Act (originally introduced by then-Senator Barack Obama in 2007) proposes a common-sense safeguard for voters, making it illegal to knowingly publish things like incorrect polling locations or times in an attempt to drive people away from the polls.

Full Article: Intentionally deceiving voters should be a crime | TheHill.

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