The Marion County Supervisor of Elections is warning residents of the dangers of election information.
Wesley Wilcox, who was elected as supervisor in 2012 and re-elected in 2016 and 2020, addresses the topic of misinformation in elections inside his latest quarterly newsletter.
Wilcox says that misinformation, disinformation, and malinformation “continue to threaten our democracy, by sowing discord and undermining voter confidence and integrity in our elections.”
“Despite established facts and reality, falsehoods continue to spread on social media, leading to distrust in the elections process,” says Wilcox. He believes residents need to better recognize and slow the spread of misinformation by questioning the credibility of of the source of information and favoring primary sources when possible. He suggests that voters need to cross-reference information and investigate between different sources and to think carefully before sharing information and consider the impact it might have.
Wesley further says that Marion County voters need to be aware of individuals belonging to unofficial groups that visit residences of Marion County voters in an attempt to collect personal information and validate voter information as it relates to the 2020 general election.
According to the newsletter, individuals with these groups have misrepresented themselves as being associated with the county or the elections’ office. Wilcox says that elections’ office staff will never visit a voter’s residence to request voter information and that any individuals doing so are not affiliated with the elections’ office.
Wilcox also says voters need to be aware of misleading and inaccurate pre-filled voter registration letters that are being mailed to Marion County citizens from two Washington, D.C. based groups: The Voter Participation Center (VPC) and Center for Voter Information (CVI).
According to Wilcox, VPC and CVI utilize commercial data that results in notices being sent with inaccurate and outdated information. In prior instances, pre-filled voter registration applications were sent to previously registered voters, deceased persons, minor children, and even pets.
Marion County residents may verify their voter registration status or eligibility by visiting the Marion County Supervisor of Elections website.