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Election Experts Urge Vigilance Against Misinformation Ahead of WA Primary


Tuesday, June 28, 2022   

Washington state's primary election is coming up, and election officials are calling on voters to be vigilant about misinformation.

Washington Secretary of State Steve Hobbs said misinformation at election time has become more prevalent. He said local election officials are being more proactive and encourages people who have questions about the voting process to reach out to their local county auditor.

"We can't sit idly by anymore," said Hobbs. "We actually have to not only remind them to vote and sign their ballot, but also let them know what the ballot process is so it gives them the security and confidence to know their votes are going to count."

Washington state's primary is on August 2. Ballots will go out in mid-July.

Online and mail voter registrations must be received by July 25. People can register in person through election day, any time before 8 p.m.

Hobbs is participating in an online town hall meeting hosted by AARP Washington this Thursday to speak about voting and misinformation.

Doug Shadel is state director of AARP Washington. He said older Americans can be more likely to pass on misinformation in certain online contexts.

Shadel encouraged people to be more cognizant of the stories they're sharing.

"Before you do that, really do what we call lateral reading," said Shadel. "If you hear a story, question the validity of it. Find another source for that same information before you pass it on to someone else."

Shadel said voters age 50 and over are a vital segment of the electorate who show up to the polls consistently. That's why he believes it's important to get information on this subject out to them.

"Democracy depends on making decisions based on facts," said Shadel. "And we're committed to helping our members and others around the state get the facts both about the candidates and about where we stand with the elections."

Disclosure: AARP Washington contributes to our fund for reporting on Consumer Issues, Health Issues, Senior Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.

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