Elizabeth Warren Wants Strict Penalties for Those Who Spread Voting DisinformationPhotos by Scott Eisen/Getty, Chip Somodevilla/Getty Politics News Elizabeth Warren
Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren has officially put the spread of voter disinformation on her agenda, though the specific details of how she plans to combat it are still murky.
The Massachusetts senator stated in a tweet on Wednesday that the inspiration for her plan was the lack of repercussions for disinformation spread in the wake of the 2016 election, and that a vigilant approach to disinformation in the wake of the 2020 election could directly affect Donald Trump’s chances at reelection.
Disinformation and online foreign interference erode our democracy, and Donald Trump has invited both. Anyone who seeks to challenge and defeat Donald Trump in the 2020 election must be fully prepared to take this on—and I’ve got a plan to do it. https://t.co/ZQ6B1AezBd
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) January 29, 2020
The plan would largely focus on tech companies, such as Facebook and YouTube, as opposed to cracking down on individuals. This makes Warren one of the first Democratic presidential candidates to put forth such a plan, but there is no word yet on the exact penalties that would be enacted if a big tech company were to spread disinformation. There is also no outline as to what exactly constitutes disinformation.
Warren has recently fallen behind in the polls, with recent numbers from Monmouth University having her behind Biden, Sanders and Buttigieg, respectively.
Senator Sanders has also been hyper-critical of tech corporations, railing for Amazon to pay their workers a living wage with benefits. Senator Amy Klobuchar has also advocated for more transparency from big tech companies.
Sanders also supports peeling back voter disenfranchisement, which would allow prisoners and those who have been committed of a felony or are on parole with the right to vote. His constituency in Vermont are among the only in the country with this right (Maine also grants the right for all prisoners to vote, and Alabama, Arizona, Wyoming, Delaware, Florida, Mississippi, Kentucky and Tennessee allow for some voter rights for felons).
One thing is clear—positions on voter suppression will be crucial come the 2020 presidential election.