More discoveries are taking place regarding “troll farms,” along with the Internet Research Agency out of Russia being major culprits in the integrity of U.S. voter systems. While as the midterm elections approach, aside from disinformation campaigns spreading false and seditious smear news, many are finding evidence of ballot tampering and voter fraud.
It isn’t only oligarchs, Russia, or Iran interfering with elections -- politicians often try to buy votes. The Intercept brought together many key politicians’ explanations to how money makes the laws, buys the votes, and leads to the election of ‘criminal’ politicians.
The American collective opinion gets tainted by foreign trolls flooding communications streams. Vox reported, “Twitter, in keeping with its recent promise to Congress to be transparent about its attempts to prevent election interference on its platforms, released more than 10 million tweets that had been circulated by propaganda farms and their associated puppet accounts.”
Some states offering vote-by-mail, which FairVote.org has explained several benefits, allows voters more time to study voter pamphlets as they fill out their ballot. It was even introduced to Congress by members from Oregon (one of many vote-by-mail states), to be adopted federally, however; with the current political landscape, the bill seems to have little chance of passing -- as Vox said, “one of the core truths of US politics is that anything that increases voting turnout hurts Republicans, so they inevitably oppose it.”
Unfortunately, even the vote-by-mail system is under attack as gerrymandering and voter suppression run rampant. Some states have rejected ballots if someone decides the signature doesn’t closely enough match the voter’s name. Brian Krassenstein, reporter for The Hill said, “approximately 8.5% of all vote-by-mail ballots have been rejected by Gwinnett County election officials in Georgia.” He continued to include, “60 percent of residents in Gwinnett County are Latino, black, or Asian.” The voting process seems to be getting compromised every way possible as KPTV in Oregon also reported, "a Portland woman walking in her Cully neighborhood Thursday said she discovered 19 abandoned voting ballots among other apparently stolen mail."
To inspire voter participation, former first lady Michelle Obama said, "while some folks are staying home on election day, other folks are showing up. Democracy continues with or without you."