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Category Archives: Free Speech

United States of America, General Elections, 3 November 2020: Interim Report

Politico: “The first 2020 U.S. election report by international observers makes for sober reading, Ryan Heath emails us. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe — which has 47 member countries including the U.S. — has deployed 30 experts around the U.S. to monitor all aspects of the election through October. While that’s well short of the 500 the organization hoped to bring (thanks Covid-19!), they’ll be joined by another 100 members of Parliament for the week of Election Day, Nov. 3. Among the report’s observations: Around 9.8 million Americans citizens can’t vote for their representatives. “Citizens resident in the District of Columbia and in U.S. territories are not fully represented in the Congress,” the report notes. “Some 5.2 million citizens, about half of whom have served their sentences, are disenfranchised due to criminal convictions. These restrictions disproportionally affect racial minorities.” In addition, “campaign expenditure is unrestrained” — thanks to court decisions and lack of a Federal Election Commission quorum — and will total around $11 billion. OSCE concluded that although America’s news media is “highly polarized,” the country’s 1,758 television stations, 15,460 radio stations and 1,300 news print publications help us wade through rising misinformation…”

ADL Launches Online Election Incident Reporting Tool in Response to Concerns of Extremist Interference

“In response to growing concerns that extremists could attempt to interfere at the polls in the next few weeks as Americans cast their ballots, ADL (the Anti-Defamation League) has established a new online incident reporting tool that will enable voters to flag any potential hate crimes or disruptions involving extremists. In addition to an online… Continue Reading

USPS IG Report – Operational Changes to Mail Delivery

“This report responds to an August 7, 2020, congressional request regarding concerns that Postmaster General Louis DeJoy’s modifications to U.S. Postal Service staffing and policies had an adverse effect on Postal Service operations, leading to slower and less reliable mail delivery. This report also responds to a number of recent similar congressional requests. We are… Continue Reading

The Problem of Free Speech in an Age of Disinformation

The New York Times – The First Amendment in the age of disinformation. “…The United States is in the middle of a catastrophic public-health crisis caused by the spread of the coronavirus. But it is also in the midst of an information crisis caused by the spread of viral disinformation, defined as falsehoods aimed at… Continue Reading

2020 Election – Counting Votes and What to Expect on Election Day

Senate Democrats Report – 2020 Election – Counting Votes and What to Expect on Election Day:  “Although Election Day is on November 3 this year, the general election is already well underway. In every state voters are already casting their ballots and millions of votes have already been cast. Turnout is unprecedented and as states… Continue Reading

The 2020 Elections: Selected Resources for Members and Constituents

CRS report via LC – The 2020 Elections: Selected Resources for Members and Constituents, October 14, 2020: “The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and reports of potential election interference might raise questions for Members and constituents about the 2020 elections. Potential disinformation campaigns and changes to election procedures in response to COVID-19might make it more… Continue Reading

Mail-In Voter Fraud: Anatomy of a Disinformation Campaign

Harvard University Berkman Klein Center – Mail-In Voter Fraud: Anatomy of a Disinformation Campaign Working paper shows Disinformation Campaign Surrounding the Risk of Voter Fraud Associated with Mail-in Ballots Follows an Elite-Driven, Mass Media Model; Social Media Plays a Secondary Role in 2020. READ THE WORKING PAPER | EXPLORE FIGURE 1 | EXPLORE FIGURE 2  “The… Continue Reading

Federal Election Results: Frequently Asked Questions

CRS report via LC – Federal Election Results: Frequently Asked Questions , October 8, 2020: “Several states have implemented new election administration processes in response to the COVID-19 pandemic that could affect how and when ballots are counted. Even under normal circumstances, finalizing federal election results takes days or weeks after election day. Among other… Continue Reading

Report – Voters Should Not Be Intimidated

Brennan Center for Justice Report: “As Election Day nears, President Trump has increasingly threatened to instigate voter intimidation. First, he has insinuated that he will deploy law enforcement officers or call up the National Guard to root out election-related crimes at the polls. (Spoiler alert: voter fraud is vanishingly rare). The president has abused his authority… Continue Reading

States are getting creative to prepare for the pandemic election

Fast Company – “For all the things that seem to be threatening the integrity of the November 3rd election, states have also done a lot of very constructive things to ensure that things go off fairly and safely, election experts say. Over the past six months, the media and the public have become increasingly concerned… Continue Reading