As of 2016, the American electorate is effectively on notice that our U.S. elections, our votes, our right to vote and our right to ensure that our votes were accurately counted are not secure and they, in fact, are under threat from a wide range of forces, both internal and external, that wish to manipulate the democratically-obtained outcome of our elections.  The following are methods being used to distort, affect and change the outcomes of elections.

Methods of Election Interference

Category Description How Implemented Comments

VOTER SUPPRESSION

Making it harder to vote
Reducing the number of polling places
Reducing the hours that polls are open
Reducing the period of time available for voting
Reducing the ways that people can choose to vote (by mail vs. in person)
Reducing access to mailed in ballots (by far, the most convenient way to vote)
Requiring IDs in order to
Raising the age allowed for voting (you can be drafted before you can vote!)
Making it harder to register to vote
Reduced access to voter registration places
Requiring IDs that people don’t have
Making it harder to get the IDs that are required
Making IDs expense and/or getting them inconvenient or time-consuming
Reduced periods of time for registering
Preventing same-day registrations
Disqualifying people who had registered
Wholesale eliminations of registered voters Use of companies like CrossCheck.
Requiring special documents or IDs at the polls
Failure to make it clear what type of identification is needed
Eliminating the right to vote for certain citizens
Preventing people who are incarcerated from voting (This is done for partisan reasons)
Making it hard for people living overseas to vote
Making it hard for disabled or elderly people to vote
 Voter Intimidation
 Sending threatening messages to voters
 Posting intimidating people around or inside polls
 Generating fake news that discourages voting

VOTING MACHINE FRAUD

“Broken” Machines
Machines that appear to work but don’t actually record votes
Machines left in bad repair that break after a few uses, so that there are increased lines in certain polling areas
 Machines that break when you try to audit them, thereby making audits impossible.
Uncertifiable Voting Machines
Machines that do not allow for audits
Machines that use voting algorithms that are not made accessible to experts to know that the tallies were done correctly
 Hackable (or Partisan-Hacked) Machines 
Machines that permit operator or third-party hacking of code
Machines that are programmed to cheat on the vote tallies in undetectible ways

CITIZEN’S UNITED PROBLEM

Dark Money Influences
Unlimited contributions by special interest groups to candidates or campaigns
Unlimited funding by groups who attempt to mislead the public about who they are and their interests NRA, Fossil Fuels, Chemicals, Pharmaceuticals
Unlimited funding by foreign entities, masked as national groups
Funding by special interest groups of parallel campaigns through PACs
Imbalance of financing by billionaires focused on key issues, which crowd out the public interest, and force candidates to do what is in corporations interests NRA, Fossil Fuels
Escalation of campaign costs to the point where candidates can’t afford to run without getting support from billionaire donors

FAKE NEWS PROBLEM

Spread of Lies
Candidates who repeatedly lie to the public are not held to any standard of truth (even after notice)
Candidates who repeat lies that were spread by others, after the truth is known, are not disciplined for continuing to spread the lie, thereby deliberately deceiving voters.
Candidates and news outlets which report fake news or hacked information, serve the purpose of malicious actors with no repercussions
Appetite for salacious news and its effects on elections motivates people to hack and lie, as there are no repercussions for that.
Distraction Effects
Disseminating salacious news enables candidates to avoid having to address the serious, real issues of a campaign
Multipliers through Social Media
Social media multiplies the virulence of fake news, which spreads faster than real news
Automated bots can overwhelm real discussions by humans and make them irritated, discouraged and misled about what the real sentiments of people are.
Bots and trolls are not restrained by common decency or respect, so these are often designed to stimulate aggression, fear, hatred and other “unproductive” emotions to inhibit voters

GERRYMANDERING PROBLEM

Provides unequal importance to certain votes discriminately
Implements a partisan intent to accrue fewer votes to the party not in power
Perpetuates a cycle of over/under-representation
(List in formation: please comments and/or add more methods through the comment box.)

 

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