Texts with incorrect voting information target residents in Oregon, Kansas, and New Jersey

HOBOKEN, NEW JERSEY - JUNE 07: Empty voting booths are seen during Midterm Primary Election Day at Engine Company No. 2 Firehouse on June 07, 2022 in Hoboken, New Jersey. New Jersey residents are voting for U.S. House races for each of the state's 12 congressional districts for the first time since the new districts were drawn in December. New Jersey is one of several states holding primary elections today. (Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)


In texts sent on behalf of Voto Latino to voters in KS, NJ, IL, NC, and VA, we sent text messages designed to encourage voting that may have caused confusion amongst voters. We take full responsibility for these mistakes and have issued correction texts.https://t.co/9CXPKmJphE

— Movement Labs (@movement_labs) October 31, 2022


In texts sent on behalf of Black Voters Matter to Black voters in KS, NJ, IL, NC, and VA, we sent text messages that may have caused confusion amongst voters. We take full responsibility for these mistakes and have issued correction texts. Full statement:https://t.co/Fz8TJn4DGM

— Movement Labs (@movement_labs) October 31, 2022

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Tweets from Movement Labs show that voters in Illinois and North Carolina were also sent erroneous messages. Some of those messages weren’t endorsed by the organizations that did business with Movement Labs. Other messages simply included information that was outdated, based off of the phone records obtained by Movement Labs.

Regardless of intent, voter disinformation has been a major issue once again this election season, especially when it comes to social media platforms. Propaganda Research Lab Senior Research Fellow Inga Kristina Trauthig sees texting and private messages as just the latest battleground in the fight against such disinformation. In a recent op-ed for The Hill, Trauthig writes that “all of us should expect disinformation to heighten around elections.”

She called for more mechanisms to be developed by messaging platforms and social media companies that address disinformation, and said that policymakers can also do more to hold those companies accountable. Until then, it’s best to go through official channels when looking for polling place or voter registration information, and seeking information from reputable sources, such as organizations that offer voting guides ahead of elections. 

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How should we be reading the 2022 polls, in light of shifting margins and past misses? In this episode of The Downballot, Public Policy Polling’s Tom Jensen joins us to explain how his firm weights polls to reflect the likely electorate; why Democratic leads in most surveys this year should be treated as smaller than they appear because undecided voters lean heavily anti-Biden; and the surprisingly potent impact abortion has had on moving the needle with voters despite our deep polarization.

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