Maloney and Lofgren Launch Investigation into Election Disinformation in States

Apr 21, 2022
Press Release
Oversight and Administration Committees Seek Information from Election Officials in States Facing Threats of Election Subversion

Washington, D.C. (April 21, 2022)—Yesterday, Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, Chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, and Rep. Zoe Lofgren, Chairperson of the Committee on House Administration, sent letters to state organizations of election officials in Arizona, Florida, Ohio, and Texas requesting information relating to their efforts to counter election disinformation and misinformation and protect the integrity of federal elections in their states. 

 

“The Committees are seeking to understand the scope and scale of election misinformation in your state, the impact that this flood of false information has had on election administration, the risks it poses for upcoming federal elections, and the steps that your organization and local election administrators have taken in response,” the Chairs wrote.  “Our investigation also aims to identify steps that federal, state, and local governments can take to counter misinformation and prevent these lies from being used to undermine the legitimate vote count in future elections.”

 

The Committee on House Administration has held hearings and roundtables investigating the impact of disinformation and misinformation on federal elections.  The Oversight Committee began investigating election disinformation following a destructive election “audit” last year in Maricopa County, Arizona and a similar effort in Otero County, New Mexico.  The Oversight Committee’s investigation found that misinformation after the 2020 election in Arizona led to dangerous conspiracy theories, threats against local election administrators, and partisan efforts funded by dark money organizations to cast doubt on election outcomes.  

 

Over the past year, several states have passed laws that unnecessarily involve partisan actors in election administration and could lead to the overturning of legitimate election results.  Arizona, Florida, Ohio, and Texas have taken steps that interfere with election administration and restrict Americans’ right to vote and have their votes counted fairly and accurately.

 

Local and state election officials across the country are playing an increasingly important role in countering false election information, including from partisan politicians and from foreign actors seeking to interfere in American elections.  One recent media report noted that election officials “are no longer just running elections,” and instead have “become full-time myth-busters, contending with information threats coming from the other side of the globe—and their own ranks.”

 

“Americans’ right to vote is guaranteed by the Constitution, and protecting the integrity of our elections is crucial to the survival of our democracy,” the Chairs added.  “To prevent bad-faith partisan actors from subverting election results, it is critical to develop a comprehensive, federal, state, and local strategy to counter misinformation.  Information from your organization will be essential to assist the Committees to conduct robust oversight of efforts to counter election misinformation.”

 

The Chairs requested information by May 4, 2022, regarding election disinformation and misinformation efforts experienced by each state, the impact this has had on the state’s elections, and what additional support is needed to counter election misinformation.

 

Click here to read the letter to Lisa Marra, President of the Election Officials of Arizona.

 

Click here to read the letter to Wesley Wilcox, CERA, President of the Florida Supervisors of Election.

 

Click here to read the letter to Brian Sleeth, President of the Ohio Association of Election Officials.

 

Click here to read the letter to Remi Garza, President of the Texas Association of Election Administrators.

    

117th Congress