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Statement by Chris Melody Fields Figueredo, co-leader, Election Protection, and manager of legal mobilization and strategic campaigns, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, regarding deceptive voting information shared on social media

For Immediate Release November 6, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Every voter is entitled to have their voice heard and vote counted. Unfortunately, some users of social media are spreading false information about voting. As such misinformation appears, social media companies must act swiftly to remove content designed to deceive or mislead voters on how to vote.

Recently, some Twitter users circulated what appeared to be official Hillary Clinton campaign advertisements that falsely claimed you can vote by text message. In fact, no state permits voting by text message. Ads like this are designed to deceive voters and have no place in our democracy. Social media platforms – including  Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat and Tumblr – must immediately remove content that deceives voters about how, where and when they can vote.

Twitter has set a good example for all social media companies by removing such content. We encourage other social media companies to moderate voting-related ad postings and quickly remove those designed to mislead voters or suppress voting, just as they do with other kinds of damaging content.

We encourage these platforms to help users vote and learn where they can turn if they have problems voting. The sites should actively promote all of the non-partisan voter helplines staffed by trained legal volunteers.

The helpline numbers are:

  • 866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683), English only, led by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law;
  • 888-VE-Y-VOTA (888-839-8682), bilingual English and Spanish, led by NALEO Educational Fund;
  • 888-API-VOTE (888-274-8683), bilingual in English, Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Bengali, Hindi, Urdu and Tagalog, led by APIAVote and Asian Americans Advancing Justice–AAJC; and
  • 844-418-1682 (#YallaVote), bilingual English & Arabic led by the Arab American Institute.

About Election Protection
Election Protection is the nation’s largest nonpartisan voter protection coalition, led by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. Through its suite of hotlines, including the 866-OUR-VOTE hotline (866-687-8683) administered by the Lawyers’ Committee, 888-VE-Y-VOTA (888-839-8682) administered by NALEO Educational Fund, 888-API-VOTE (888-273-8683) administered by APIAVote and Asian Americans Advancing Justice-AAJC and a dedicated team of trained legal and grassroots volunteers, Election Protection helps all American voters, including traditionally disenfranchised groups, gain access to the polls and overcome obstacles to voting. The coalition has more than 100 partners—including Advancement Project, Asian American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Brennan Center for Justice, Common Cause, League of Women Voters of the United States, NAACP, National Bar Association, National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, Rock the Vote and Verified Voting Foundation—at the national, state and local levels and provides voter protection services nationwide. For more information about Election Protection and the 866-OUR-VOTE hotline, please visit www.866ourvote.org.

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CONTACT:
Stacie B. Burgess, Director of Communications and External Affairs
202-662-8317,
sburgess@lawyerscommittee.org

About The Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
The Lawyers' Committee, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, was formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to involve the private bar in providing legal services to address racial discrimination. The Lawyers' Committee celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2013 as it continued its quest of "Moving America Toward Justice." The principal mission of the Lawyers' Committee is to secure, through the rule of law, equal justice under law, particularly in the areas of fair housing and fair lending, community development, employment, voting, education and environmental justice.

For more information about the Lawyers' Committee, visit www.lawyerscommittee.org.

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