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Election Experts Urge Vigilance Against Misinformation Ahead of WA Primary [AUDIO]

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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 encourage people who have questions about the voting process to reach out to their local county auditor.

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“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 have been mailed.

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.

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

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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.

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“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.”


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Eric Tegethoff | WNS

Eric Tegethoff is a journalist covering the Northwest. Eric has worked as a reporter for KBOO, XRAY FM, and Oregon Public Broadcasting in Portland, Oregon, as well as other print and digital news media. In 2012, Eric traveled to North Dakota to write about the Bakken region oil boom. He’s also worked at a movie theater, as a campaign canvasser, and quality assurance at a milk packaging factory. Eric is originally from Orlando, Florida. He graduated from the University of Florida in 2010.

The above article was provided by Washington News Service. The Auburn Examiner has not independently verified its content.

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