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Voting & Elections 11.10.2023

PolitiFact: On Nov. 7, 2023, Pennsylvania voting machines were “flipping votes,” which is evidence of “election fraud.”

Five local voting rights advocacy groups, including Common Cause Pennsylvania and the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania, called the incident "an unfortunate situation caused by human error," but said it did not amount to election fraud. "This is a programming error that is being weaponized for disinformation purposes," Philip Hensley-Robin, executive director of Common Cause Pennsylvania, told PolitiFact.

Voting & Elections 11.6.2023

Salon: Ohio Republicans use taxpayer funds to boost "absolutely false" anti-abortion claims ahead of vote

"I get very worried. How do you have a democracy that is functional with so much misinformation?" Catherine Turcer, the executive director of government accountability group Common Cause Ohio, which endorsed Issue 1, told Salon. "Because we need good information to make decisions, and the misinformation doesn't just cloud the decision-making process, it doesn't just leave people with true misunderstandings. It can also completely turn off people so that they decide to opt out." Turcer said canvassers reported that constituents have expressed confusion about the moniker "Issue 1" in the Nov. 7 election, with many mistaking it for the ballot initiative of the same name in Ohio's Aug. 8 special election.  The League of Women Voters Ohio and Common Cause Ohio have worked to combat the misinformation given the high stakes surrounding abortion and reproductive care in the state. Turcer is hopeful that Ohioans will be able to "suss out the misinformation and the power grab" come Tuesday as they did in voting down August's Issue 1.  "One of the things that I think is gonna make a real difference is who shows up at the polls during early votes, who shows up at the polls on Election Day," Turcer told Salon. "I think at the end of the day, Issue 1 will be determined by who shows up to vote."

Voting & Elections 11.2.2023

Texas Tribune: A Texas election worker’s heart attack highlights tensions between officials and poll watchers

“It’s part of a pattern we’ve seen over the last decade: right-wing groups and people like Laura Pressley really just weaponizing poll watchers in some really alarming ways,” said Anthony Gutierrez, executive director of Common Cause Texas, a nonprofit that advocates for expanding voting rights. “They're making it harder for people to vote. They're making it harder for election workers to do their jobs.”

Media & Democracy 10.16.2023

FEC Urged to Amend Regulation to Account for False AI Content

Today, Common Cause and the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights filed comments with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) in support of a petition for rulemaking filed by Public Citizen to amend its regulation on “fraudulent misrepresentation” to include “deliberately false Artificial Intelligence-generated content in campaign ads or other communications.”

Media & Democracy 10.10.2023

HuffPost: Twitter’s Monetization For Blue-Check Accounts May Be Fueling Fake News On Israel-Palestine

Emma Steiner, the information accountability project manager at Common Cause, told HuffPost that Musk’s monetization program, combined with his new system for receiving “verified” badges, had encouraged misleading information. “The new verification system means that it’s almost impossible to discern real news from fake news on the platform now, especially since people are posting specifically to gain revenue for engagement,” Steiner said. “That creates some really perverse incentives for breaking news events.”

Boston Globe: Trump uses presidential run to attack the institutions he says are after him

“He used his words to hammer at democratic institutions in ways that undermine trust and confidence, and it’s dangerous,” said Stephen Spaulding, vice president of policy at Common Cause, a nonpartisan good government group. “That is part of his playbook, which is to soften the ground to then attack the legitimate outcome of an election.”

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