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House Committee Report Examines Impact of Election Lies on Democracy

The report investigates how misinformation and disinformation drive fraudulent campaigns which seek to cast doubt on legitimate election results, increase threats to election workers, and create the conditions for bad actors to attempt to subvert an election.

The House Committee on Oversight and Reform’s report,“Exhausting and Dangerous”: The Dire Problem of Election Misinformation and Disinformation, calls to attention how lies about the legitimacy of the 2020 election are being used as cover to rewrite election laws and lay the groundwork for potential future power grabs.

This investigative report amplifies and draws on the research in the Democracy Crisis in the Making: How State Legislatures are Politicizing, Criminalizing, and Interfering with Elections report.

Democracy Crisis in the Making findings cited in House report:

…The spread of misinformation and conspiracies of election officials and workers committing fraud in the 2020 presidential election created an environment ripe for abuse, and state legislators have since introduced and passed hundreds of election laws based on the Big Lie. Some of these bills would give partisan legislators more control over non-partisan election systems, while simultaneously making it more difficult for election officials to effectively do their jobs.

…A recent report found that, in 2022 alone, over 200 state-level bills inspired by the Big Lie have been introduced that politicize, criminalize, or otherwise interfere with nonpartisan election administration. These laws not only undermine the proper functioning of election systems, but also fuel the disinformation cycle by giving credence to conspiracy theories, signaling that there must have previously been something amiss with the state’s election systems to warrant such changes.

For a PDF version of this report, click here.

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