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Brennan Center for Justice

The Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law is a nonpartisan law and policy institute that works to reform, revitalize – and when necessary, defend – our country's systems of democracy and justice. At this critical moment, the Brennan Center is dedicated to protecting the rule of law and the values of Constitutional democracy. We focus on voting rights, campaign finance reform, ending mass incarceration, and preserving our liberties while also maintaining our national security. Part think tank, part advocacy group, part cutting-edge communications hub, we start with rigorous research. We craft innovative policies. And we fight for them – in Congress and the states, the courts, and in the court of public opinion.

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Pandemic Propaganda: A New Electoral Crisis

Organizer: Brennan Center for Justice

How will the misinformation pandemic inflamed by the coronavirus crisis reshape the political landscape? And how might domestic and foreign actors weaponize rumors, conspiracy theories, and disinformation about Covid-19 against American voters in the lead-up to the November election? A distinguished panel will discuss measures that can address these challenges in the upcoming months and help ensure the 2020 election is free, fair, and safe.

Laura Rosenberger is the director of the Alliance for Securing Democracy and a senior fellow at The German Marshall Fund of the United States. The Brennan Center's Ian Vandewalker is senior counsel for the Democracy Program, where he works to address the influence of money in politics and foreign interference in U.S. elections. Ángel Díaz is counsel in the Brennan Center's Liberty & National Security Program; his work focuses on the intersection of technology with civil rights and civil liberties. They join Foreign Affairs executive editor Daniel Kurtz-Phelan.

Location: Webinar

Sara Swann/The Fulcrum

Bogus fraud claims cloud real obstacles to expanded mail voting

On the surface, the idea of conducting elections mainly by mail appears deceptively simple. It evokes images of a serious-minded citizen at the kitchen table, poring over information about candidates before thoughtfully marking a ballot, slipping it in an envelope and dropping it in the corner mailbox.

But the history of recent elections show that, even though such absentee ballots have accounted for only a quarter or so of the total vote, the system has faced serious obstacles. Suddenly doubling or even tripling the mail-in volume, which looks very plausible this November because of the coronavirus, will only magnify those challenges.

Compounding the problems is how the issue has become yet another partisan fight — with Democrats all in favor and President Trump pushing Republicans to oppose efforts to make voting by mail more available and reliable. The president's vastly overblown claims about a looming explosion of voter fraud, in particular, are overshadowing genuine worries about the abilities of election officials and the Postal Service to handle the coming surge of ballot envelopes.

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Election officials in Minneapolis conduct a recount of a 2018 Senate race. A new report tries to counter what it says are myths about elections, including the idea that a vote recount automatically signals fraud.

Progressive group out to puncture 8 myths that hobble election confidence

Voter fraud is rampant, right? Noncitizens are voting illegally by the truckload, correct? And watch out if voting machines suddenly fail: There's a conspiracy afoot, isn't there?

No. No. And no.

That's the gist of a punchy report issued Thursday that raises and then shoots down eight myths about the state of American elections. "Dirty Tricks: Eight Falsehoods that Could Undermine the 2020 Election" is the work of the progressive Brennan Center for Justice, which has been at the forefront of the campaign to make voting easier and safer during the coronavirus pandemic.

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