Desinformation - Latino - Voters The Subcommittee said these efforts should be extended at the state and local levels. In the picture, Alex Berrios, left, and Devon Murphy-Anderson, right, co-founders of the nonprofit Mi Vecino, coach newly hired staff members on how best to approach people and convince them to register to vote in Kissimmee, Fla.
Image via AP Photo/Will Weissert/file.

A group of Democrats, including Rep. Darren Soto, is concerned about the impact of disinformation on Hispanic communities.

Because of the impact disinformation has on Spanish-speaking voters, a group of Democrats from the Elections Subcommittee of the Committee on House Administration sent letters to various US agencies to find out how they are addressing the situation.

The letter was addressed to the leaders of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), the Department of Justice (DOJ), and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). 

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It was signed by Elections Subcommittee Chairman Rep. G. K. Butterfield (D-NC), and Reps. Pete Aguilar (D-Calif.), and Teresa Leger-Fernandez (D- N.M.). Among the co-signers was Florida Rep. Darren Soto.

“As we saw in 2016, 2018, and 2020 elections, the proliferation of mis- and disinformation has grown at an alarming rate, especially that which is targeted at minority and non-English speaking communities,” the letter read.

The group said they are concerned about the impact disinformation could have on the ability of voters to cast their ballot free from interference and with accurate information.

The committee also said election officials are another group affected by the situation.

“According to a recent poll by the Brennan Center for Justice, 64 percent of election officials said that the spread of false information about elections has made their job more dangerous,” read the letter sent to Lisa Monaco, deputy attorney general of the Department of Justice.

The letter also mentioned social media platforms, which are a major concern because of the existence of fake accounts known as bots that are deployed to disseminate election-related disinformation.

“Research conducted by Equis Research and Equis Labs, who focus on studying and reaching Latino voters, found that ‘social media networks are doing a poor job at addressing Spanish misinformation, with less moderation and posts left up longer than in English,’” the Subcommittee wrote. 

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The lawmakers highlighted the importance of these efforts, which need to be extended at the state and local levels, especially in places where anti-voter laws had been passed like Texas, Florida, and Arizona.

The group asked a series of questions that the agencies must answer by May 20.