People running for office have always bent opinion, lied and obfuscated about their positions, politics and facts. Often they believe their truths, which may be very different from someone else’s truth or the “real” truth. This is part and parcel of a democracy. One might even say, it is the “American Way.” It is not the government’s job, to determine what we believe, what we wish to vote for or to ensure accuracy of campaign speech.
IT IS NOT THE JOB OF ELECTION OFFICIALS OR THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY TO CONTROL THE NARRATIVE OR FREE SPEECH.
That is mission creep.
They are constraining what is acceptable to discuss, what are approved opinions. They are purposefullly constraining the Overton window.
This is information control in the worst way.
It is not the job of the Department of Homeland, and local or national election officials to stop free speech, whether that “speech” is – on social media, TV or on a stage.
Conflating illegal foreign influences in elections, computer bots from foreign countries and free speech into the same governmental oversight is not ok. They are not the same.
This is a slippery slope.
This Politco article nicely demonstrates how election officials have seamlessly woven free speech with foreign influences can been seen in the following text:
Ten state chief election officials say in interviews they have had to refocus their positions to battle a constant flow of disinformation. This year, they say, will be no differen…
“political candidates undermining the election systems that they still run for office in, and conspiracy theories that target even the most obscure parts of America’s election infrastructure”
The Politco article in question, goes on:
Voting for the 2022 midterms is already underway, and the nation’s top election officials are caught fighting a two-front war: Battling disinformation stemming from the last election, while simultaneously preparing for the next one.
The officials are no longer just running elections. They’ve become full-time myth-busters, contending with information threats coming from the other side of the globe — and their own ranks.
In interviews with 10 state chief election officials — along with conversations with staffers, current and former local officials and other election experts — many described how they have had to refocus their positions to battle a constant rolling boil of mis- and disinformation about election processes.
They’re dealing with political candidates undermining the election systems that they still run for office in, and conspiracy theories that target even the most obscure parts of America’s election infrastructure. And they say the country will face the same issues this year as it elects a new Congress and decides control of three dozen statehouses…
Election officials said they have increasingly been leaning on national partnerships — both with other secretaries and federal agencies like the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security — to help prepare local election workers.
Maine Secretary of State Shenna Bellows, a Democrat, said that she will soon host a workshop with CISA and local clerks in her state.
“It has exploded out of control,” Bellows said. “Disinformation can lead to people threatening harm” to election workers. She also said her office would work on further training for local officials, including de-escalation training, to help protect them in volatile situations.
Battling “mis, mal and disinformation” of American citizens is again mission creep. Free speech is free speech. It is our first amendment right.
Frankly, the idea that election officials are “leaning on” the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security is downright scary. That election officials truly believe that people exercising their first amendment rights will cause others to “threaten harm to election officials” demonstrates the government’s authoritarian position on free speech rights in the 21st century. Only free speech that doesn’t impact on the government’s approved narrative is allowed.