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Democrats ask officials in Florida, Arizona, Texas and Ohio for details on election misinformation

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House Democrats are seeking information from officials in key battleground states on their efforts to tackle ‘lies and conspiracy theories’ that could harm the integrity of the federal election as part of an investigation broader on the “weaponizing of disinformation and disinformation” in the electoral process.

Leaders of the House Oversight and Reform Committees and the House Administration sent letters on Wednesday to election officials in Florida, Arizona, Texas and Ohio – all states run by Republicans – asking for information while noting their concern about new laws affecting election administration.

“The committees seek to understand the scope and scale of election disinformation in your state, the impact this flood of false information has had on election administration, the risks it poses to the upcoming federal election, and the steps your organization and local election administrators have taken in response,” wrote Oversight Chairwoman Carolyn B. Maloney (DN.Y.) and House Administration Chairwoman Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif. ) to state election officials in letters obtained by The Washington Post. “Our investigation also aims to identify actions that federal, state and local governments can take to counter misinformation and prevent these lies from being used to undermine legitimate vote counts in future elections.”

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Lofgren and Maloney specifically ask state election officials about the most significant misinformation and disinformation allegations they have encountered and the impact they have had on election administration. They also ask if officials or their staff have been subjected to verbal or physical threats stemming from “conspiracy theories, misinformation or misinformation after the 2020 election.”

The letters come months before the midterm elections and as many Republican lawmakers across the country continue to echo former President Donald Trump’s false claims that the 2020 election was stolen.

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Lawmakers have criticized new laws in every state that have been passed following Trump’s campaign to discredit the 2020 results that ‘unnecessarily involve partisan actors in election administration and could lead to the invalidation of election results legitimate”.

In Florida, for example, Lofgren and Maloney point to GOP state lawmakers who spread false claims about voter fraud to help enact legislation fining election supervisors for operating a drop box that violates the news. restrictions and change the rules for election observers in a way that could “disrupt the vote count.

“State Senator Travis Hutson claimed without evidence that ‘all over the country’ there were instances ‘where ballot boxes could be tampered with,’” write Lofgren and Maloney. “The law was recently struck down by a federal court which found the rationale for passing the bill to be ‘absurd’. ”

Washington

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