By Charlie Beall
Meet Beartrice, better known as Democracy Bot, our new tool to fight back against election disinformation in Michigan. Taking notes from a coordinated national effort, spreaders of disinformation in Michigan are trying to undermine voters’ faith in our election system and to prepare the ground for election subversion in 2024. By using Democracy Bot to report all of the disinformation you come across, you can help us track and quickly counter false attacks. Together, we can protect Michigan voters and our democracy by exposing the people behind disinformation and by neutralizing the disinformation before it has time to spread.
Democracy Bot is an easy-to-use reporting tool for voters to quickly and comprehensively report election disinformation. Using your phone, laptop or other device, a voter can report to us any disinformation they receive or become aware of. The bot is critical because it helps us collect, in one place, disinformation from all of the different places and ways anti-democracy activists are trying to spread it. We can then educate and activate elected officials, communicators, press, and everyday citizens to take specific actions to fight back.
What is Election Disinformation? Election Disinformation deliberately targets voters in order to confuse, dissuade, or discourage them from participating in our elections and to justify overturning election results. Here and here are some examples of disinformation about the 2020 election.
What kind of sources can I report? You can report disinformation from any source that you come across that is used to communicate to voters. This includes (but isn’t limited to) canvassing pitches, robocalls, and mail, as well as SMS text messages, email, and paid advertisements on social media.
Why does Democracy Bot ask about my voter registration? Knowing where you are registered to vote allows us to identify the voting population that could have received the election disinformation you’re reporting.
Should I use Democracy Bot to report voter suppression or intimidation? No! Democracy Bot is intended to log and combat disinformation only. Please report voter suppression, harassment, and intimidation by calling or texting the nonpartisan Election Protection Hotline at 866-OUR-VOTE.
When election disinformation strikes, rapid response matters. Help us fight the spread of election disinformation by reporting it to Democracy Bot at www.votersnotpoliticians.com/report.