Bay Space elections supervisors proceed outreach, training to fight misinformation

Within the 12 months for the reason that January 6 revolt, elections officers in Tampa Bay hung out answering questions from residents and correcting any deceptive or mistaken details about what occurs on the polls.

The assaults on the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. drew consideration to the elections course of after rioters falsely claimed the 2020 election was stolen. The occasions sparked questions, and a few residents turned to their county supervisors of elections for solutions.

“One of many nice issues that has occurred for the reason that 2020 election is we have seen extra folks within the election course of, which has given us the chance to elucidate a number of the nuances of Florida’s legal guidelines, the know-how concerned, and giving us a chance to have conversations we’d not have,” mentioned Dustin Chase, the top of communications on the Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections Workplace. “So now we have had lots of people carry to us misinformation, disinformation, mal-information. When potential, we have taken the chance to right the document and show to folks the machines have been counting the ballots as they’re alleged to, pursuant to Florida regulation, and that there’s a course of in place to make sure the integrity of elections.”

CAPITOL RIOT: A glance again on 12 months since January 6 revolt

Elections officers mentioned outreach and training for residents will not be new to them, however the 2020 election reveals why it’s essential. Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections Craig Latimer explains.

“Sadly, there’s nonetheless loads of myths on the market. You recognize, I learn them on daily basis, hear about them on daily basis of folks that simply suppose that issues are haywire they usually’re not,” mentioned Latimer. “And I believe that when we begin educating folks they usually notice that they’ve extra confidence within the system. So it’s a battle proper now, there isn’t any doubt about it.”

Whereas talking with residents concerning the elections course of and its safety, Latimer mentioned many residents didn’t know their places of work did audits of the elections. Elections places of work additionally do upkeep on the poll counting machines with distributors, maintain its cybersecurity updated to stop hacking, and undergo the registered voters on file.

“That is one of many issues we do each odd 12 months, odd quantity 12 months, and we need to make it possible for we have the cleanest voter rolls potential and just be sure you know, the folks which might be on there are actually, residents in our county,” mentioned Latimer.

With the 2022 midterms coming this fall, election officers need folks to know their vote counts.

“You recognize, the one factor that we have been actually, actually speaking about is to induce folks to get their data from a trusted supply, and your supervisor of election is a trusted supply,” mentioned Latimer.

The Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections mentioned his workplace plans to launch a sequence of movies within the subsequent two weeks speaking concerning the ins and out of elections, safety and the way it all works. They need to make sure that folks know what’s occurring forward of the midterms this 12 months.