I’m at the Computers Freedom and Privacy conference of 2008 and I’m currently sitting in an interesting panel about something I had no idea about. I assumed that deceptive voting practices meant e-voting, but what they’re actually talking about is modern-day Jim Crow laws. I suppose I should have known better, but I wasn’t aware that there were still problems with disinformation encouraging people not to vote. Often the misinformation will come in e-mail or physical mail and will seem very authentic appearing to have come from some state agency or well-known organization. They will try to discourage you from voting by telling you:
- that due to massive expected turnout, Republicans would vote on election day and Democrats the day after (thus eliminating Democratic votes from the election).
- that if you have unpaid parking tickets or child support, you’ll be arrested when you go to vote
- that the polling location has changed
- that any ex-cons can’t vote (note that this may be true depending on the state you’re in, but be sure to check before deciding not to vote)
- that the voting registration deadline has long passed so there’s no point in even trying now