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Voter Protection Corps

Voter Protection Corps was founded by experts in election law to address a stark, urgent reality: The assault on voters' rights will almost certainly increase, intensify and become more insidious in advance of the 2020 Presidential election. Voter Protection Corps is building a state-by-state playbook to combat both intentional voter suppression tactics and disenfranchisement caused by insufficient planning. Early, data-driven solutions identified and implemented by experienced voter protection professionals can reduce barriers to casting and counting the ballots of eligible voters across the country in 2020.
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While most states have laws banning guns inside polling locations or the types of facilities use for voting, the laws governing spaces outside the centers are far more relaxed.

Packing at the polls: It's fine in many places, raising another election safety concern

Voter safety is a top concern for people running elections this year, of course. But that's not only because of the coronavirus. More than any year in memory, there is real worry about the threat of armed conflict at the polls.

There have been no weaponized clashes at drop boxes or early voting centers, so far. But with a week to go, social media is filled with hateful or at least threatening talk from partisan stalwarts promising they'll be packing on Election Day.

State and local rules vary widely about the presence of firearms inside polling places and in the hands of people electioneering outside. But in general the policies in most places are either permissive or silent — creating yet another concern for those worried about swelling coronavirus cases, legal disputes about absentee ballots and all the different ways the central act of American democracy could get sullied as never before.

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How Russia used disinformation on social media to target voters

Disinformation: Remain calm and do not spread

With eight days to go until the most important election of our lifetimes, voters are being bombarded with half-truths and outright lies that may confuse the public and suppress the vote. Once again, foreign actors are seeking to disrupt our elections. The FBI recently alleged that Iran hacked into U.S. voter registration data and sent threatening, spoofed emails to voters. There is plenty of domestic misinformation and voter suppression, too — from falsehoods on the president's Twitter account to online campaigns targeting Black and Latino voters. In New Hampshire, the state Republican Party is spreading disinformation about college students' voting rights.

As tempting as it may be to retweet and rave about disinformation, that can be counterproductive. By publicly calling out false claims, we risk elevating the disinformation — and unintentionally spreading it. Instead, here are four concrete steps that the public, election officials, social media platforms and the media can take to combat disinformation.

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Early voting in Georgia began with long lines and tech issues.

Why long lines in early voting may signal voter suppression

With only 11 days before the 2020 presidential election, more than 2.3 million Georgians have voted. Even more plan to do so before the state's Oct. 30 early-voting deadline. And just as in the primaries earlier this year, Georgia voters experienced extremely long wait times at the polls. On the first day of early voting, some Georgians waited more than eight hours to vote. Voters should never have to take an entire day to participate in democracy.

In response to excessively long lines, Walter Jones, a representative from the Georgia secretary of state's office remarked, "What this means is people are really energized and engaged in this race, and we prepared for it. "

Jones failed to mention that Georgia's extreme wait times are disproportionately affecting Black and Latino voters, or that voter suppression strategies are also drivers of the state's long voting lines. While it's undeniable that states across the country are experiencing record voter turnout in this year's election, we shouldn't ignore the intentional actions taken to suppress the vote. This is a key reason why Black and Latino voters are still waiting in hours-long lines.

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The ballot drop box outside the Board of Elections in rural Athens County in southeastern Ohio.

Why, Ohio? Drop boxes kicked to the curb in another battleground.

There won't be any more ballot drop boxes set up in Ohio, assuring more hassle for as many as 700,000 people who might still cast their votes remotely and early in one of the essential presidential battlegrounds.

Voting rights groups announced Thursday they were giving up the legal battle they've been waging since the summer to get many more bins dispatched. They said it has become pointless to ask the Supreme Court to reverse an earlier appeals court ruling restricting the boxes to just one place in each of Ohio's 88 counties.

Drop boxes for completed absentee ballots have sprouted in plenty of places across the country that have never seen them before, a response by election officials to anxieties about voting in person and relying on the mail during the coronavirus pandemic. But as with so much else about election rules this fall, many of those initial accommodations (including for Ohio's primary) have run into stiff opposition from Republicans claiming the potential for fraud.

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