Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning , Fraud Management & Cybercrime , Next-Generation Technologies & Secure Development

Empowering Minority Voters to Fight Election Misinformation

Activists Discuss Role of Technology, Strategies for Informed Voter Participation
Michael Blake, founder and CEO, Atlas Strategy Group, and Cynthia Wallace, co-founder and executive director, the New Rural Project

Election campaigners Michael Blake and Cynthia Wallace said accurate information and community involvement are needed to protect electoral integrity and empower underrepresented voters. Strategies for countering misinformation range from sourcing internet posts to hosting barbershop meetings, they said.

See Also: Safeguarding Election Integrity in the Digital Age

Blake, founder of Atlas Strategy Group, which collaborates with historically Black colleges and universities to enhance voter engagement, said communities of color are often targets of misinformation and disinformation used to quell voter participation and influence election outcomes.

"Many will say it's the new 'Jim Code.' Algorithm discrimination, misinformation, disinformation - all three - are being spent out. We have now launched the Kairos Democracy Project. It is for issue awareness and how democracy is relevant to communities of color," Blake said.

Wallace, co-founder of the New Rural Project, which seeks to make the voices of rural young people and marginalized residents heard, underscored the importance of accurate information and community engagement to increase voter turnout among rural minority populations.

"We found that there was almost 60,000 Black, Hispanic, Native American, and AAPI voters who were registered but didn't turn out to vote in 2020," she said. Misinformation played in how people voted or didn't vote in that election."

In this video interview with Information Security Media Group, Blake and Wallace discussed:

  • The difference between misinformation and disinformation and how each is used to target communities of color;
  • How the Kairos Democracy Project aims to provide accurate information and counter misinformation;
  • Insights from the New Rural Project on how to increase voter turnout among minority populations in rural areas.

Blake is a former New York state assemblyman and Democratic National Committee vice chair. He served in the Obama-Biden administration as the White House associate director of public engagement and deputy associate director of the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs.

Wallace was the 2020 Democratic nominee for North Carolina's 9th Congressional District and has been active politically in the state since 2008. Prior to running for office in 2019, she chaired the North Carolina Democratic Party 9th Congressional District, where she led strategy for eight counties.

About the Author

Anna Delaney

Anna Delaney

Director, ISMG Productions

An experienced broadcast journalist, Delaney conducts interviews with senior cybersecurity leaders around the world. Previously, she was editor-in-chief of the website for The European Information Security Summit, or TEISS. Earlier, she worked at Levant TV and Resonance FM and served as a researcher at the BBC and ITV in their documentary and factual TV departments.

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