According to a comprehensive report from a House oversight committee, the spread of false information about the 2020 US presidential election poses a “ongoing threat to representative democracy” and a significant risk to the safety of election officials.
The 21-page report warned that conspiracy theorists pose a serious threat to future elections and called for immediate funding to cover the rising cost of security for the 2022 contests.
Dangerous threats against election officials were also detailed in the report. One Texas official was the target of death threats that included “threatening his children, saying ‘I think we should end your bloodline.'” This was in response to his “personal attacks on national media outlets,” which prompted the messages.
It was also threatened that he should be “hung when convicted for fraud and let his lifeless body hang in public until maggots drip out of his mouth” on social media.
In the beginning of 2021, the Committee began investigating the effects of election administration lies. Former President Trump claimed he was duped out of the 2020 election after he lost.
Photographs: Hunter Biden, Vice President Joe Biden’s middle child and a frequent target of scandal “(Business Insider)
Many Trump supporters continue to believe the “big lie,” even though there is zero evidence to support claims of widespread fraud in the 2020 election. During the uprising that began on January 6, 2020, this falsehood stoked the passions of a mob of Trump supporters, who then attacked the United States Capitol.
Conspiracy theorists, “led by former President Donald Trump and his supporters,” are to blame, according to a House committee, for the rise in threats against election officials. Several in Florida broadcasted a supervisor of elections’s direct line, urging listeners to call and tell him “that they are watching him, that he is a piece of crap, and these are their elections.”
The committee’s report concluded that election-related lies function as a reinforcing loop. According to the report, “almost every aspect of election administration is harmed by the spread of false information about elections.”
In the United States, “election misinformation in the past two years has often followed a feedback loop that produces more false information, heightens threats and pressures on election administrators, and increases the possibility of election subversion,” according to a report.
With the express intent of nullifying election results, “conspiracy theorist candidates across the country have gained notoriety and run for office,” the article continued.
According to the report, election officials are under significant duress because of the proliferation of false information. They are bombarded with “coordinated campaigns of records requests and bad faith inquiries,” the report claims.
Meanwhile, lawmakers in some states used the confusion to pass laws that criminalize minor mistakes by election officials, which “allow partisan actors to intervene in ballot counting and certification.”
These laws, the report says, “have paved multiple pathways for the future subversion of legitimate election results.” This confusion and distrust has grown since 2020.
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