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Deceptive Practices 2.0: Legal and Policy Responses

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Publication Date: October 2008

Publisher(s): Common Cause (U.S.); Century Foundation; Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law

Special Collection: Presidential Advisory

Topic: Media, telecommunications, and information (Communication systems)
Politics (Elections and voting)

Keywords: Voting rights; Voter suppression; Presidential transition

Type: Report

Coverage: United States


In the last several election cycles, "deceptive practices" have been perpetrated in order to suppress voting and skew election results. Usually targeted at minorities and in minority neighborhoods, deceptive practices are the intentional dissemination of false or misleading information about the voting process with the intent to prevent an eligible voter from casting a ballot. It is an insidious form of vote suppression that often goes unaddressed by authorities and the perpetrators are virtually never caught. Historically, deceptive practices have taken the form of flyers distributed in a particular neighborhood; more recently, with the advent of new technology "robocalls" have been employed to spread misinformation. Now, the fear is deceptive practices 2.0: false information disseminated via the Internet, email and other new media.