The 2020 Presidential Election is only months away and already we are seeing signs that voter suppression is alive and well in the U.S.
From closed and limited numbers of polling stations during state primaries — to the current controversy over mail-in ballots and drop boxes — it is clear that 2016 was just a dress rehearsal. The addition of COVID-19 as well as Trump’s recent threats to send federal agents to oversee voting are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to using scare tactics to target vulnerable and marginalized voters.
Targeted disinformation aimed to suppress voters from fully engaging in an election was rampant in 2016. In today’s environment, it has exploded, serving to magnify our history with voter suppression throughout the 20th Century. False messages are being sent out online and amplifying what voters can and cannot do. There are fake accounts pretending to be members of issue-driven and culture communities that are sharing and elevating digital voter suppression narratives during both local and federal election cycles. We have also learned that there will be similar campaigns leading up to the November 2020 election.
That’s why Stop Online Violence Against Women Inc. (SOVAW) is launching the Stop Digital Voter Suppression™ Project.
The Stop Digital Voter Suppression™ Project is a grassroots reporting movement. We want to hear your voices and experiences throughout the last remaining months leading up to the election. We want to document which tactics are being used to suppress YOUR vote and YOUR voice so that we can supplement our extensive data collection efforts with real-life experiences.
From now until the end of the year, we will be collecting and sharing stories (anonymously, of course) with the goal of creating an evolving narrative around digital voter suppression. Our ultimate goal is to drive effective, enduring strategies to address national, state, local, and regional efforts to stop the silencing of our voices and collective power. Strategies that will be shared with leaders and those groups working toward providing a fair and safe election for everyone.
How it works
In 500 words or less, we want to hear your story and your experiences in past and current elections. Tell us about the difficulties and challenges you faced when trying to vote. Tell us about any communications or voting instructions that turned out to be misleading or false. Share photos and images that best depict your experiences. Consider how your constitutional right was suppressed. Were you able to vote? What did you do or not do? We want to hear your concerns and fears, hopes, and dreams for the future.
How we will harness your stories
Every week, we will share one or two stories from the archives that build upon current stories from the weeks before. The Stop Digital Voter Suppression™ project will share your stories and images on this site, as well as on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and our reports.
Stop Digital Voter Suppression™ Project Submission Form