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1A Remaking America: Election disinformation goes grassroots

A sign displaying voting hours is placed outside a polling location during the Nevada primary election in Reno, Nevada.
A sign displaying voting hours is placed outside a polling location during the Nevada primary election in Reno, Nevada.

A handful of high-profile election deniers are taking their conspiracy theories on the road. It has election officials from both parties worried.

Since the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, NPR documented hundreds of events around the country where speakers like Mike Lindell, the CEO of MyPillow, pedaled false information about the 2020 Election before an in-person audience.

Now, election workers say their offices are seeing an uptick in misinformation around election security. Poll workers are also facing increased threats ahead of the midterms.

A recent poll from the Benenson Strategy Group surveyed roughly 600 election officials. Over half expressed concern about safety. Nearly a third reported they know someone who quit over these concerns.

“Whenever there is an appearance in which the former president or Lindell or others come out attacking our system we know to expect an uptick in threats and add additional security as a result,” Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson told NPR.

We look at what happens when disinformation leaves the Twittersphere and the effect this has on the health of our democracy.

This conversation is part of our Remaking America collaboration with six public radio stations around the country. Remaking America is funded in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Copyright 2022 WAMU 88.5

Anna Casey