Decision 2020

Decision 2020: Pritzker Warns of Social Media ‘Disinformation' Ahead of Election Day

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With the election nearing, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker warned voters of “misinformation” that could be posted to social media, urging state residents to consult reputable sources for information in the days ahead.

The governor warned residents from getting their information on social media networks like Facebook and Twitter in the coming days, and to instead consult local election authorities and reputable news outlets for the latest updates on election results.

“We know there are foreign actors, specifically Russia, Iran and others, who intend to promote misinformation throughout Election Day and in the days after,” Pritzker said. “They would like nothing more than to promote conspiracy theories and sow discontent.”

Pritzker says that vigilance is critical in the coming days, as it is unlikely that votes will be fully tabulated by the conclusion of the day Tuesday.

“With vote-by-mail hitting all-time records, it means that we have to be patient about the results of all our races this year,” he said. “Every vote must be counted. Particularly on a national level in the presidential election, we may very well not know who won on Wednesday, let alone Tuesday night.”

As of Sunday, nearly 3.5 million ballots had already been cast in Illinois either by mail or by in-person early voting. Those numbers are on the rise on the final day before the election, and Pritzker called it a “great thing for our democracy” that voters had more options to ensure that their voices would be heard.

As those votes are counted, Pritzker urged voters to be patient and to be skeptical of claims made on social media, suggesting that voters could potentially stay off of those platforms in the coming days.

“Look at a variety of news outlets if you’d like, but be wary of claims you see on social media,” he said. “So check before you repost anything, or better yet, you may want to take the next few days off from social media. Facebook and Twitter will still be there in the morning.”

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