California County Enlists Social Media to Thwart a Deceptive Election Photograph


Election officers in Sonoma County, Calif., requested the broader social media neighborhood on Friday to assist them rebut a false report about mail-in ballots within the county.

After receiving cellphone calls from constituents claiming they noticed on-line photos of mail-in ballots in a landfill, the county posted a message on its important Twitter account alerting residents and different Twitter customers {that a} false report was circulating. The image confirmed 2018 election supplies that had been despatched out for recycling, as state legislation permits, the county mentioned.

County officers mentioned they weren’t certain of the origin of the false report, however by Friday it had been picked up by some conservative media shops on Twitter. Conservatives and President Trump have just lately seized on information experiences of points with mail-in ballots, reminiscent of 9 that have been discovered to have been discarded in a northeastern Pennsylvania county.

Sonoma County’s submit underscored the difficulties that native election officers face in combating misinformation within the remaining six weeks earlier than the Nov. three election. With the native information media in disaster throughout the nation, preventing misinformation largely falls on space officers, who’re already stretched skinny to satisfy the calls for of essentially the most advanced election in a long time.

For officers on the entrance traces in Sonoma, correcting the file as rapidly as potential was paramount.

“I feel we needed to be proactive and guarantee that folks acquired the knowledge from us, as a result of we did hear from some involved residents,” mentioned Deva Marie Proto, the county registrar of voters in Sonoma County.


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