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Analysis: ND Faces Moderate Threat from 'Election Denialism'

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Thursday, August 31, 2023   

Election denialism still could be a problem in North Dakota and other states in next year's race for the White House, according to a new analysis.

The National Election Denial Risk Index separates states into three categories: highest, moderate, and lowest risk of people spreading disinformation about voting or trying to interfere with election administration, and how it might disrupt the democratic process.

Brian Hinkle, senior voting policy researcher for the Movement Advancement Project and co-author of the analysis, said states are encouraged to put measures in place to thwart any future attempts to overturn results. He feels the denialism factor is pushing democracy to the brink of chaos.

"Our report shows that 157 million voters currently live in states that are at least moderate risk of election denial jeopardizing future elections," Hinkle explained.

North Dakota is on the higher end of moderate threats, coming in at 12th overall when assessing risks for all the states. This week, paperwork was filed for a proposed ballot measure to overhaul North Dakota elections by switching to paper ballots only and ban early voting. Supporters say it would help with election integrity, but Hinkle countered it is part of a pattern to use misinformation to create restrictions on voting rights.

While the 2020 election was nearly three years ago, Hinkle pointed out it is clear the fallout has not gone away.

"The recent indictments charging former President Trump and others with conspiracy to overturn the results of the election, among other crimes, I think, highlight both the continued threat of election denial, as well as a potential path for states to hold bad actors accountable," Hinkle contended.

The report cited a number of ways states can shield themselves from denialism, including laws to protect election officials from threats and block unauthorized access to voting machines.

Hinkle added North Dakota could take it a step further by joining the 41 other states requiring routine and nonpartisan postelection audits.

Support for this reporting was provided by The Carnegie Corporation of New York.


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