Twitter's Role in Election Policy | Three Things Thursday

Tyler Fisher
Senior Director, Policy & Partnerships
Unite America

I’m stepping in for Brett this Thursday to send you your “Three Things” to have an eye on this week.

As our Deputy Director for Reforms & Partnerships, I was really excited to see momentum in the Republican Party for using ranked choice voting in their primary process (Thing #1). We’ll have a white paper out soon on why ranked choice voting should be used in our all of presidential primaries.

There’s also momentum building for a truly bipartisan agreement around COVID-19 funding that was the result of compromises made by members of Congress, not just between party leadership and the White House (#2). 

And, there’s a big question (#3) about the role media organizations play in sharing the truth about vote by mail, and we want to know what you think about that.

  1. Republican candidates call for Ranked Choice Voting.

An upcoming Republican Party convention in Virginia will determine who the party’s nominee is for a house of delegates seat. While the candidates may have different policy priorities, they agree on one thing: the election should be held with ranked choice voting. The Republican party in Utah just used RCV for their convention, the Indiana GOP will next month, and there’s momentum for RCV in Virginia where legislators recently passed a bill that allows municipalities to use the system.

The three candidates running for the seat issued a joint statement that said: “It doesn’t add any time or effort to the balloting process, it just allows for a process that ensures the strongest possible candidate emerges as the nominee and ensures the Republican Party remains unified ahead of a very challenging election. Without that unity, without that majority, winning in the fall becomes extraordinarily difficult.”

  1. Congress comes to you.

Last week, a bipartisan group of both U.S. representatives and senators introduced the SMART Act which would provide $500 billion in funding to state and local governments to backfill lost revenues to COVID-19. The bipartisan problem solvers caucus was instrumental in helping the bill get introduced, and the caucus co-chairs Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) and Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY) joined No Labels for a conversation with movement supporters about the legislation and what they can do to help.

Check out the video on Facebook and be sure to catch Panera Founder Ron Schaich give the introduction. He said, “Typically in D.C. things are controlled by the four concerns: the Senate Majority Leader, the Senate Minority Leader, House Majority leader, and the House Majority Leader. [But, the SMART Act] is not a Republican issue or a Democrat issue, it is an American issue.”

  1. Twitter weighs in on President Trump’s Vote At Home claims

In an unprecedented move, Twitter, in accordance with new initiatives aimed at combating misinformation around elections, dubbed some of the President’s recent tweets about absentee ballots as “unsubstantiated” and provided a link to more information about mailed ballots.

We know the truth about vote at home systems: they are consistently rated by election administrators as more secure because they leave a paper trail that can’t be hacked. But, concerns about ensuring the integrity of our elections are real, and it is important county clerks get the resources they need to hold fair contests this November.

Twitter’s response to the President raises important questions about the ways in which social media companies regulate their platforms, especially as it pertains to elections.

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