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Voting in the United States: Statement

Register to vote in the 2020 Presidential Election, learn where the candidates stand on important issues, and learn about the history of suffrage in the United States.


Statement on Avoiding Mis- and Malinformation and Protecting the Integrity of the 2020 Election 


On September 22nd the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) released a stark warning that you may have missed. Foreign actors are again focusing on our elections.


This should come as no surprise: a 2019 Report of the Subcommittee on Intelligence of the United States Senate found 2016 was essentially a dry run to see what could be accomplished as far as election interference. The seeds that Russia planted in 2016 are starting to grow (Foer, 2020).


The Subcommittee also found that in 2016 the Internet Research Agency (IRA) was able to infiltrate election infrastructure in all 50 states. They tested the voracity of our electoral cyber defense, and found it vulnerable. In 2020, many of those same systems remain unchanged and unprotected (Foer, 2020). 


The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) reported during the 2018 midterm elections that “numerous actors are regularly targeting election infrastructure.”


Now, in 2020, the CISA and the FBI are warning of a post-election misinformation campaign. Not only could foreign actors change existing electoral websites, they could create entirely new websites modeled on existing sites in order to spread misinformation regarding election results. The goal of these foreign actors is to promote distrust in our elections and the democratic process.


Additionally, the two federal agencies warn that potential delays of counting mailed ballots could provide these foreign actors with time between the election and the announcement of a winner that could be exploited for misinformation campaigns.


As educators dedicated to educating on misinformation and malinformation, we join the CISA and the FBI in recommending the following strategies to avoid misinformation.


  • Seek out information from trustworthy sources, such as state and local election officials; verify who produced the content; and consider their intent.

  • Verify through multiple reliable sources any reports about problems in voting or election results, and consider searching for other reliable sources before sharing such information via social media or other avenues.

  • For information about final election results, rely on state and local government election officials.

  • Report potential election crimes—such as disinformation about the manner, time, or place of voting—to the FBI.

  • If appropriate, make use of in-platform tools offered by social media companies for reporting suspicious posts that appear to be spreading false or inconsistent information about election-related problems or results.

Please join us in standing up for the American Democratic Process.


In the years since our last presidential election, Emily Brown and Susan Souza-Mort have presented workshops on Misinformation and Self-Radicalization as a part of the College’s Colloquium Against Hate. Shelly Murphy has presented workshops on the importance of individuals being diligent about the information they receive and share and on the realities of Journalism in the Era of Fake News. These presentations will help you to understand the problem of misinformation and foreign interference in our elections.


Foer, F. (2020, June). The 2016 election was just a dry run. The Atlantic, 325(5), 40-50.