Misinformation, Disinformation and Malinformation and what it means for our electoral process and democracy.

Published: Nov. 6, 2022 at 7:14 PM CST
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CHEYENNE, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - As we get closer to the elections, we look at misinformation, disinformation and malinformation and their effects on the electoral process.

Misinformation, disinformation and malinformation or MDM, has been a hot topic during recent elections.

“Certainly the problem with misinformation that’s out there is that people don’t trust government,” said Dr. Jim King, Political Science Professor at the University of Wyoming

MDM is political information that is false, deliberately misleading, or factual, but not entirely.

Officials say this happens for political positioning, but historically not to this magnitude.

“That erodes our trust and our representation it erodes our trust in our country and it just erodes the fabric of our democracy,” Kai Schon, Director of Wyoming State Elections.

Today we see it in bi-partisan platforms, on social media, and editorialized news to increase voter turnout.

“It’s to evoke some emotional response. Facts are boring. They are black and white. So if the information is really triggering you, then it’s gone beyond just a fact,”

Officials say by casting doubt, MDM chips away at the legitimacy and faith in elections, facts, and law.

“Those that are creating disinformation deliberately trying to mislead and cause distrust in the process really, I mean shame on them. Because they are literally domestic terrorists,” said Schon.

Schons says the best way to debunk conspiracy is to get involved. Volunteer for elections and learn about its security firsthand.

“It’s getting to know people in positions that all of the doubt and misinformation is targeted against,” said Schon.

Schon says ballot machines are not hooked up to the internet and are tested by counting 1 million ballots accurately before they can go out publicly.

Paper ballots are counted against poll books and tabulators several times during elections so votes cannot go missing.

A graceful concession has to come back into fair play and elections.

“We all want the same things its just how we achieve that and thats where the debate should be . you know thats the avenue to our common goal and as opposed to is this person good or evil,” said King.

Officials say our faith in the electoral process will help determine our political future.

For information on malformation, you can check these resources.

CISA Rumor Page.

U.S. Department of State.