Lawfare Blog: Announcing a New Series on Healthy Elections

Lawfare Blog: Announcing a New Series on Healthy Elections. “The Stanford-MIT Healthy Elections Project aims to assist election officials and the public as the nation confronts the challenges that the coronavirus pandemic poses for election administration. Through research, tool development, and direct services to jurisdictions, the project focuses on confronting the logistical challenges faced by states as they make rapid transitions to mail balloting and the creation of safe polling places.”

New York Times: Hong Kong Delays Election, Citing Coronavirus. The Opposition Isn’t Buying It.

New York Times: Hong Kong Delays Election, Citing Coronavirus. The Opposition Isn’t Buying It.. “The Hong Kong government said on Friday that it would postpone the city’s September legislative election by one year because of the coronavirus pandemic, a decision seen by the pro-democracy opposition as a brazen attempt to thwart its electoral momentum and avoid the defeat of pro-Beijing candidates.”

Reuters: Local U.S. election officials fight disinformation ‘virus’, whether from overseas or Trump

Reuters: Local U.S. election officials fight disinformation ‘virus’, whether from overseas or Trump. “On a recent Zoom call, Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose, the state’s top election official, ran through slides showing altered Facebook photographs, misleading tweets from the last presidential election and photographs of Russian hackers.”

HuffPost: Donald Trump’s Campaign Is Pretending There’s No Pandemic

HuffPost: Donald Trump’s Campaign Is Pretending There’s No Pandemic. “President Donald Trump’s campaign advertising is focused largely on issues that are of minimal concern to the American electorate, a HuffPost analysis of campaign ad spending data found, airing zero ads about the coronavirus pandemic in the month of July.”

CNN: Notre Dame withdraws from hosting first presidential debate due to coronavirus

CNN: Notre Dame withdraws from hosting first presidential debate due to coronavirus. “The University of Notre Dame announced Monday it will withdraw from hosting the first presidential debate in September due to concerns about the coronavirus pandemic. The debate, scheduled for September 29, will now take place at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.”

Yaël Eisenstat: ‘Facebook is ripe for manipulation and viral misinformation’ (The Guardian)

The Guardian: Yaël Eisenstat: ‘Facebook is ripe for manipulation and viral misinformation’. “Yaël Eisenstat was a CIA officer for 13 years and a national security adviser to vice president Joe Biden. Between June and November 2018, she was Facebook’s global head of elections integrity operations, business integrity.”

The Jewish News: New Website Easily Connects Voters to Their Elected Officials

The Jewish News: New Website Easily Connects Voters to Their Elected Officials. “Contact My Politician allows users to simply type in their street address, which immediately brings up all their elected officials. The users can then send a written or video message to one or many of those officials, with any comments, questions or concerns they may have about pressing political topics. The politician is notified through the platform of any messages from their constituents, and they’re able to respond through the platform in both written and video form, as well. There’s also a portion of the website geared toward nonprofits, which allows the nonprofit to write a form letter in support of a specific position or initiative.”

Business Insider: A new algorithm could catch social-media trolls as they try to influence US elections. Researchers are offering it for free.

Business Insider: A new algorithm could catch social-media trolls as they try to influence US elections. Researchers are offering it for free.. “The tool, described in a study published Wednesday in the journal Science Advances, works by learning to recognize known, common patterns associated with troll activity and disinformation campaigns. Russian troll accounts, for instance, have posted many links to far-right websites, but the content on those sites didn’t always match the posts’ accompanying text or images. Venezuelan trolls, meanwhile, have often posted fake websites.”

Reclaim the Net: UK parliamentary committee on Russian disinformation calls for new social media content removal protocols

Reclaim the Net: UK parliamentary committee on Russian disinformation calls for new social media content removal protocols. “A UK parliamentary intelligence committee report on Russian ‘disinformation and influence’ has called for the UK Government to establish a protocol with social media companies to remove covert hostile state material and to commit to “clear timescales” for removal.”

CNET: Facebook posts from Trump, Biden get new voting information label

CNET: Facebook posts from Trump, Biden get new voting information label. “Facebook’s new voting information label appeared on posts this week from both President Donald Trump and presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. While the label may appear similar to fact-checks on other social networks, the Facebook notice doesn’t necessarily mean the posts contain misinformation.” Well that won’t be confusing at all.

WFAA: Dallas teachers use Instagram to help voters with down-ballot decisions

WFAA: Dallas teachers use Instagram to help voters with down-ballot decisions. “The non-partisan page features several quick, easy-to-digest posts on the candidates, the offices and other pieces of information voters need to make an informed vote from the top of the ballot all the way to the bottom.”

USA Today: Election lawsuits set record pace amid COVID-19 pandemic as results decide who votes and how Nov. 3

USA Today: Election lawsuits set record pace amid COVID-19 pandemic as results decide who votes and how Nov. 3. “Requiring an excuse for absentee voting. Paying for postage for mail-in ballots. Purging names from voter registration lists. Placing the names on ballots to provide an advantage in so-called ‘donkey votes.’ These are among the disputes that have generated a record number of lawsuits over the Nov. 3 election. Decisions in the cases will determine who will vote and how. And the political ground is shifting even during the ongoing primaries, as rulings change in the weeks before votes are cast.”

CBS News: Virus outbreak reshapes presidential race in Sun Belt — CBS News Battleground Tracker poll

CBS News: Virus outbreak reshapes presidential race in Sun Belt — CBS News Battleground Tracker poll. “The coronavirus outbreak is reshaping the presidential race in three key Sun Belt states. Joe Biden is now leading President Trump by six points in Florida, and the two are tied in Arizona and competitive in Texas, where Biden is down by just a point to Mr. Trump. Biden has made gains in part because most say their state’s efforts to contain the virus are going badly — and the more concerned voters are about risks from the outbreak, the more likely they are to support Biden.”

NiemanLab: First Draft launches a text message course to help inoculate users against U.S. election misinformation

NiemanLab: First Draft launches a text message course to help inoculate users against U.S. election misinformation. “Sensing (correctly) that people are fatigued with online trainings, First Draft has rolled out ‘Protection from deception,’ a free two-week text message course to help people prepare for election misinformation ahead of November.”

Washington Post: Trump and Biden campaigns shift focus to coronavirus as pandemic surges

Washington Post: Trump and Biden campaigns shift focus to coronavirus as pandemic surges. “The Trump and Biden presidential campaigns now see the coronavirus response as the preeminent force shaping the results of November’s election, prompting both camps to try to refocus their campaigns more heavily on the pandemic, according to officials and advisers of both campaigns.”