Sometimes marketing strategies are built on a combination of intuition and historical data. Chief marketing officers and directors use what they know to fuel their plans for both digital and traditional ad campaigns. But as the success of marketing strategies becomes more dependent on real-time data and evolving technology, new approaches are necessary.
Getting to know your audience doesn’t look the same as before because third-party research and data are becoming less relevant. And new analytics tools are providing up-to-the-second details on which campaigns work and which ones should go away. Improving your future marketing efforts is critical, as these efforts will impact your company’s ROI. Here are three ways to do that.
Digital marketing strategies usually have one end goal in mind: conversions. For most businesses, a conversion from a digital ad or piece of content means an online sale. A lead clicks on a product ad or a blog post link and follows through with a purchase. While it sounds simple in theory, what drives conversions and e-commerce sales is more complex.
Marketers typically build more than one lead source into their digital marketing strategies. They might integrate pay-per-click ads, landing pages, blog posts, videos and emails into the same promo launch or plan. All these capture leads, direct audiences to the online store and appeal to various stages of the sales funnel. It’s not enough to use overall e-commerce sales of a product or service as the benchmark for success.
You have to know what brought leads and current customers to your website’s store. Maybe your pay-per-click ads have a higher conversion rate than your emails. At the same time, your emails are more effective at targeting existing clients than video ads. However, it’s difficult to track what’s working and contributing to the bottom line without integrated data.
Comprehensive dashboards that centralize ad spend, conversion info and general e-commerce analytics are essential to real-time campaign monitoring and adjustments. Companies like Triple Whale are making it easier for marketers to access the tools they need for immediate insights. Its platform reveals the return on ad spend for each campaign, website traffic source and social media platform, allowing marketers to double down on the channels that are yielding conversions.
Sources of third-party data, including Apple’s iOS and Firefox web browsers, are starting to dry up. While some browsers are delaying the demise of third-party cookies, the end of this information source is near. Other external sources of audience insights, such as market research agencies, might provide some nuggets of truth. However, relying on this method can eat into ROI and only provide generalized or aged data.
Audience insights from external sources may lead your marketing strategies in the wrong direction. Or they might not be specific enough to come up with game plans that produce the results you want. Taking charge of data collection yourself helps you design more effective strategies. You can use real-time conversation tools and customized experiences to learn about your audiences.
Surveys and chatbots are examples of ways businesses can start collecting data straight from the source. These tools are also ways to converse with your leads and client base, learning what makes them tick. You’ll glean why certain offers attract your audiences from these interactions. Using the details, you can better define and segment who’s most likely to buy from you and what their purchase triggers are.
As a result, your marketing strategies and campaigns can appeal to specific concerns and pain points. The audience insights you collect will also help you narrow down the online content experiences various segments want. Your company can take A/B testing or personalization to the next level with custom content that incorporates buying behaviors and interests. Your strategies won’t use kitchen-sink tactics or become a perpetual experiment to see what sticks.
The most memorable ads and websites tell a story. They don’t overtly sell or feel like marketing spin. Campaigns and strategies need to bring in the numbers. But impersonal or self-serving tactics that don’t connect with audiences are less likely to do so. People can see through the hype and are more skeptical of claims a brand makes about itself.
Marketing strategies that integrate branding and storytelling instead of just promos and PR tend to make emotional connections. Brand stories and values inspire audiences and provide them reasons other than a rock-bottom price to buy. Storytelling also humanizes a brand and builds customer relationships. It’s what differentiates a company from competitors offering similar solutions while appealing to a target market’s unique motivators.
Furthermore, brands don’t have to limit storytelling to internal marketing teams. Satisfied clients and influencers can be fruitful sources of content for videos, blog posts and general campaigns. Having someone audiences know and trust tell part of a brand’s story builds awareness and establishes credibility. Marketing strategies that bring brand enthusiasts and users into the mix demonstrate what companies offer besides products that might be commodities.
Marketing strategies are road maps that include tactics for converting audience interest into sales. Yet plans are only as good as the data that informs them. Shifting to real-time market and campaign insights leads to messages that persuade and connect with the people behind the numbers. Brands that don’t lose sight of why audiences convert can design strategies that create profitable relationships instead of short-term results.
After two years of disruption, supply chains are almost back to normal. That means shelves should be fully stocked, and some prices actually will be lower this holiday season, industry executive and analysts say.
“The script has been flipped,” said Steve Pasierb, president of manufacturing group The Toy Association. “From a supply-chain standpoint, it’s the opposite of last year.”
Rita El Khoury / Android Authority
Living thousands of miles away from family never gets easy, but video calling apps like WhatsApp and Google Meet have made the distance more tolerable for my parents and me. Another aspect they’ve simplified is remote troubleshooting.
Being the techie in the family, I often have to help them manage any unexpected disturbances on the TV, cable box, computer, phones, and more. At first, my parents’ instinct during troubleshooting video calls was to turn their phone’s screen towards the object they wanted me to fix, resulting in awkward angles and general confusion. It took a few tries to get them used to tapping the camera switch icon whenever they wanted help with specific items.
Screen sharing is the most fantastic tool for troubleshooting a phone remotely and I pity the fool who's not using it.
A few weeks ago we took another leap in our troubleshooting adventures: screen sharing. Yes, ladies and gents, this is the most fantastic tool for troubleshooting a phone remotely and I pity the fool who’s not using it. Especially since it’s only a couple of taps away in Google
When my mom wanted some help dismissing a stuck notification on her Pixel 5 a few weeks ago, I mentally pictured the process of figuring out which app was causing the issue and then force-stopping it. I immediately dreaded how I’d have to explain it, step by step, on a call. Then I remembered: My mom has a Pixel 5 now, so we can use screen sharing in Google Meet. (More on that incorrect Pixel limitation assumption in a bit.)
I simply told her to tap the screen during our video call, then the stars icon (bottom right) > Screen share > Start now. (On Pixel and Samsung phones, it’s stars icon > Live sharing > Share now > Start now.)
And ta-da, I could see her screen now — magic!
I guided her step by step, seeing every action she was performing and all the menus and pop-ups (in French, heaven help me) until we figured out it was a stuck image download from the Google app. We force-stopped the app and relaunched it, and boom, no more notification.
Screen sharing cut our troubleshooting time in half. It's faster, smarter, and more efficient than any other method we've used.
For the first minute, my mom was a bit weirded out by the fact that I could see what she was seeing. She was still trying to read me the menus and tell me what was happening on her phone, until she realized she didn’t have to. Screen sharing cut our troubleshooting process’s time in half, if not more. It’s so much better than guessing screens my parents would try to describe to me, waiting for them to read me every word of every menu, or picturing options in my head to point them to a specific button. Overall, it’s faster, smarter, and more efficient than any other method we’ve used before.
I’m a bit angry at myself for not having tried this sooner. Oh, the hours I could’ve saved! But in my defense, screen sharing rolled out super slowly over several years in Google Duo/Meet. It was a Pixel exclusive at first, then it started showing up on modern Samsung phones, but after checking it for months and months, I gave up on it appearing on more devices. Now, it seems to be available on most phones and tablets with Android 8.0 and above. I tested it on several Google Pixels, several OnePlus models from the 6T onward, a Galaxy S21 Plus, an Honor Magic 4 Pro, and even an old Huawei MediaPad M5 tablet running Android 8.0. It worked flawlessly on all of them.
If you often have to help friends or family members with their phones and you have to do it on a call, I have nothing but good things to say about Meet. It’s definitely better than trying to use Zoom or Skype because it’s pre-installed on most Android phones and tablets nowadays, it’s easy to set up with a phone number or email address, and you can quickly get on a call with anyone and ask them to share their screen. Helping them doesn’t have to be a frustrating experience anymore.
DETROIT — President Donald J. Trump and other Republicans who have advanced baseless conspiracy theories about Democrats stealing elections seized on a limited computer glitch in Detroit on Tuesday, suggesting it was evidence of fraud.
Some voters in Detroit arrived at the polls in the morning to find that, Because of what the city called “a harmless data error,” electronic poll books showed they had already been issued absentee ballots.
Poll workers informed them that they could still cast ballots at the polling sites and that their votes would be counted, according to election officials. The voters were also assured that the city clerk’s office has put procedures in place to ensure all voters can cast a ballot and each voter only casts one ballot.
City officials said the error was resolved by 9:30 a.m.
Nonetheless, Kristina Karamo, the Republican secretary of state candidate in Michigan, posted on her Twitter account a news report with a video of a polling place at Nolan Elementary-Middle School in Detroit where the issue cropped up. She claimed the problems were evidence of “fraud.”
Mr. Trump also weighed in on his Truth Social account, calling the “absentee ballot situation” in Detroit “really bad.”
“People are showing up to Vote only to be told, ‘sorry, you have already voted,’” Mr. Trump wrote, making errors in punctuation. “This is happening in large numbers, elsewhere as well. Protest, Protest, Protest.”
In an evening news conference, Michigan’s secretary of state, Jocelyn Benson, who is running against Ms. Karamo, said the issue was the kind of “technical glitch” that arises and gets addressed immediately in well-run elections “and that’s precisely what we did today.”
“There are always things that can potentially be seized upon,” Ms. Benson said. “It’s a political strategy some have chosen to pursue. We all need to start seeing clearly what it is.”
Republicans, including Ms. Karamo, have organized in Michigan ahead of the election to raise possible evidence of fraud that could be used later to challenge results. Ms. Karamo was the plaintiff in a lawsuit against the city of Detroit that could have disenfranchised 60,000 absentee voters in the city. A judge on Friday rejected the suit and said was full of baseless allegations.
Voter protection hotline monitors say they began to notice the glitch in the morning through calls and observations from monitors in polling places. The voters were still all given a way to vote, they said.
Kate Mason, an election protection coordinator with the nonprofit Michigan United, said she saw no sign of election tampering. “People try to make it into a big conspiracy thing but it’s not,” she said. “It’s just a computer glitch that caused the e-polling books to not work properly.”
Quentin Turner, of Common Cause Michigan, agreed: “There is no evidence any fraud occurred.”
Voting was largely smooth in Michigan, elections officials and monitors said.
At one polling place in Ann Arbor, a person serving as a poll challenger repeatedly tried to file invalid challenges against voters for a while, while in a polling place in Detroit another individual told some voters they looked ineligible to vote, according to the Secretary of State’s office.
These situations were isolated and resolved, the office said. In Dearborn some poll monitors and a poll worker said that a Republican poll challenger went to a few polling locations and asked numerous questions of poll workers that were disruptive. Some of the questions were based on misconceptions about voting machines.
At a counting center in downtown Detroit that became the center of turmoil two years ago, the count was going on without problems through the closure of polls.
Detroit’s Department of Elections said in a statement that when the polls opened, election inspectors in some precincts had received messages on the electronic poll-book screen saying that the ballot number had already been issued to an absentee ballot voter.
“This message does not mean that the voter who was issued an absent voter ballot was attempting to vote,” the statement said.
The problem stemmed from the fact that some precinct voters were given numbers identical to those used for ballots sent to absent voters, the city elections department said. The system flagged the duplicate ballot numbers and issued the error message. “In all circumstances eligible voters were able to vote,” the city said.
The city elections officials said the problem was fixed by adding a letter to the precinct ballot numbers to distinguish them from the absent voter ballots.
There was no risk of duplicate ballots, the city said, because safeguards preventing a voter from voting on more than one ballot were still in place.
At Nolan Elementary-Middle School, the scene of the report that Ms. Karamo posted on Twitter, voting was running smoothly during a visit in the afternoon. The neighborhood is overwhelmingly Black and Democratic.
“There were no issues at all,” said Cecil Weems, 44, as he was walking out of the gymnasium after voting.
Ryan Hooper contributed reporting.
Mould is very common in homes. It can grow on tiles, fabrics, carpets, wood and other materials when moisture is present. Key spots are around window frames, in bathrooms, anywhere condensation forms, and where leaks and rising damp lead to moist patches on ceilings and walls. Two black moulds commonly found in homes are Cladosporium and Alternaria fungi. Another black mould is Stachybotrys chartarum, which can release specific toxins that are harmful to humans.
Damp and mouldy environments in general can cause a host of medical problems, particularly in people who are sensitive to the allergens that moulds produce. Common ailments are sneezing, a runny nose, red eyes and skin rashes, but moulds can also affect the immune system and trigger more serious problems such as asthma attacks. Cladosporium and Alternaria can provoke severe, and even fatal, asthma attacks, and long-term exposure exacerbates the risk. Stachybotrys chartarum causes sick building syndrome, where toxins released by the fungus cause people to feel unwell. The fungus has also been associated with a potentially lethal condition called acute idiopathic pulmonary haemorrhage in infants, but a firm link has not been established.
Babies and young children are at particular risk of health effects from mould, not least because of their small airways. Those with respiratory conditions, such as asthma and certain allergies, tend to be worse affected, as are people with skin conditions, such as atopic eczema, and those with weakened immune systems. A weaker immune system leaves people more vulnerable to fungal infections from spores breathed into the lungs.
Buildings should be routinely inspected for water damage and mould. Any source of moisture needs to be dealt with by fixing leaks and dampness, controlling humidity, cleaning and drying up any flooded areas and ensuring good ventilation. Keeping homes warm and well-ventilated helps because mould thrives in cooler, damp conditions. Small amounts of mould can be dealt with relatively easily, but when mould is growing in carpets, ceiling tiles and on walls, professional services are often needed to remove the contaminated material. Painting over mould is not likely to be effective.
As Twitter became knotted with parody accounts and turmoil, Rachel Terlep, who runs an account for the Washington State Department of Natural Resources that intersperses cheeky banter with wildfire and weather warnings, watched with equal parts trepidation and fascination.
“It kind of feels like a supernova moment right now — a big, bright flash before it all goes away,” she said.
So the department stepped into the fray, taking advantage of the moment with some of its signature humor. “Update: The Twitter wildfire is 44 billion acres and 0% contained,” they posted.
But under the joke, it linked to a thread that gave helpful tips about how to review a handle to see if it’s real. Some of the suggestions included looking at how old the account is and checking to see if the public safety agency’s website links to the profile.
It underscored the challenge for the people tasked with getting public safety information out to communities. Now, they don’t only have to get information out quickly. On the new Twitter, they also have to convince people they are actually the authorities.
Government agencies, especially those tasked with sending messages during emergencies, have embraced Twitter for its efficiency and scope. Getting accurate information from authorities during disasters is often a matter of life or death. For example, the first reports this week of a deadly shooting at the University of Virginia came from the college’s Twitter accounts that urged students to shelter in place.
Disasters also provide fertile ground for false information to spread online. Researchers like Jun Zhuang, a professor at the University of Buffalo who studies how false information spreads during natural disasters, say emergencies create a “perfect storm” for rumors, but that government accounts have also played a crucial role in batting them down.
During Hurricane Harvey in 2017, for example, an online rumor spread that officials were checking people’s immigration status at storm shelters, potentially dissuading people from seeking safety there. However, crisis communication researchers have also found that the city’s mayor reassured residents and helped the community pull together with a constant stream of Twitter messages.
Amid the slew of changes at one of the world’s most influential social media platforms, the public information officers who operate government Twitter accounts are cautiously waiting out the turmoil and urging the public to verify that it really is their accounts appearing on timelines. While it’s an issue they’ve always had to contend with, it’s especially worrisome now as a proliferation of brand impersonations spreads across the platform and changes to verification take hold.
Darren Noak, who helps run an account for Austin-Travis County emergency medical services in Texas, said Twitter’s blue checkmark has often been discussed among those who operate government Twitter accounts. The badge — up until a week ago — indicated an account was Checked as a government entity, corporation, celebrity or journalist.
The AP reviewed dozens of government agencies responsible for responding to emergencies from the county to the national level, and none had received an official label — denoted by a gray checkmark — by Friday. Spoof accounts are a concern, Noak said, because they create “a real pain and a headache, especially in times of crisis and emergency.”
Government accounts have long been a target of copycats. Fairfax County in Virginia had to quash fake school closures tweeted from a fraudulent account during a 2014 winter storm. And both the state of North Carolina and its city of Greensboro have had to compete with accounts appearing to speak for their governments.
It has become even harder in exact days to verify that an account is authentic.
In the span of a week, Twitter granted gray checkmark badges to official government accounts — then rescinded them. It next allowed users to receive a blue checkmark through its $8 subscription services — then halted that offering after it spawned an infestation of imposter accounts. Over the weekend, Twitter laid off outsourced moderators who enforced rules against harmful content, further gutting its guardrails against misinformation.
Twitter hasn’t responded to media requests for information since Musk took over, but its support account has posted: “To combat impersonation, we’ve added an ‘Official’ label to some accounts.”
Twitter’s changes could be deadly, warned Juliette Kayyem, a former homeland security adviser at the state and national levels who now teaches at Harvard’s Kennedy School.
Twitter has become a go-to source of localized information in emergencies, she said. But imposter accounts could introduce a new level of misinformation — or disinformation when people intentionally try to cause harm — in urgent situations. When instructing the public how to respond, the right instructions — such as sheltering in place or evacuating a certain area — can be a matter of life or death.
“In a disaster where time is limited, the greatest way to limit harm is to provide accurate and timely information to communities about what they should do,” Kayyem said. “Allowing others to claim expertise — it will cost lives.”
In the past, Kayyem had worked with Twitter to research how government agencies can communicate in emergencies. She said the leadership at Twitter’s trust and safety department “thought long and hard” about its public service role. But Twitter has lost those high-level leaders responsible for cybersecurity, data privacy and complying with regulations.
Some agencies are pushing audiences to other venues for information.
Local government websites are often the best place to turn for accurate, up-to-date information in emergencies, said April Davis, who works as a public affairs officer and digital media strategist at the Oregon Department of Emergency Management. She, like many others at emergency management agencies, said her agency doesn’t yet plan to change how it engages on Twitter, but also emphasized that it’s not the best place to turn to in emergencies.
“If it goes away, then we’ll migrate to another platform,” said Derrec Becker, chief of public information at the South Carolina Emergency Management Division. “It is not the emergency alert system.”
Twitter accounts for emergency management in Washington, South Carolina and Oregon provide public service information on preparing for disasters and weather alerts. They also tweet about evacuation and shelter orders.
Becker, who has cultivated the agency’s sizeable Twitter following with a playful presence, said emergency alerts broadcast on TV, radio or cell phones are still the go-to methods for urgent warnings.
Shortly after Becker fielded questions from The Associated Press on his agency’s plans Monday, the department tweeted: “Leave Twitter? Disasters are kind of our thing.”
-- By STEPHEN GROVES, Associated Press
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Fictionary co-founder and CEO Kristina Stanley has worked in a wide variety of different jobs, from manager of broadband planning at Nortel to the director of employee, safety, and guest services for an Eastern British Columbia ski resort, to author of mystery novels.
But one of Stanley’s most difficult jobs was figuring out how to edit her own manuscripts while writing The Stone Mountain Mystery Series. As she told BetaKit in an interview, “it’s really, really difficult to edit a book from a story level. You’ve got thousands and thousands of elements that you have to keep track of and make them work together.”
“We’re trying to help the average person who doesn’t have an ‘in’ in the publishing industry get a really good book out there, get an agent, or get a publisher.”
-Kristina Stanley, Fictionary
Initially, Stanley tackled this problem using a combination of Microsoft Excel spreadsheets and graphs. But she soon realized that other authors likely faced the exact same issue, and set out to build a better way by combining her tech and writing background.
Today, Stanley’s software startup Fictionary aims to offer an alternative. Amid a wide field of solutions that help writers and editors with specific parts of the process, like spelling, grammar, style, structure, and publishing, Fictionary hones in on perhaps the most important and challenging part: producing a good story.
Fuelled by $1.8 million CAD in seed funding, Fictionary aims to help writers and editors around the world produce quality stories more quickly and affordably. With this capital, the Inverary, Ontario startup, based just north of Kingston, plans to move into non-fiction and start selling to other publishers and agencies to expand its community of users.
The startup’s all-equity round, which closed in September, was co-led by StandUp Ventures and BDC Capital’s Thrive Venture Fund, with support from The51 and a group of angels that includes Women’s Equity Lab general partner Sally Morris. For newly launched Thrive, Fictionary marks the fund’s third investment to date, after investing in Acerta and Private AI.
Stanley founded Fictionary in 2016 alongside her husband, Mathew (COO), who also previously worked at Nortel and has a background in tech, and her brother, Michael Conn, Fictionary’s former CTO, who has since left the company.
Initially, Fictionary focused solely on writers, before expanding to meet demand for a similar offering from editors. Today, Fictionary offers three subscription software products for writers and editors that range in price from $19 to $49 monthly, sells online courses, and provides a community for writers and editors to connect.
Fictionary’s software helps writers visualize their story arc by analyzing key story elements with artificial intelligence (AI) and gauging how their manuscript compares to fundamental storytelling components.
RELATED: With new Thrive platform, BDC commits half a billion dollars to invest in Canadian women-led startups and funds
“We’re trying to help the average person who doesn’t have an ‘in’ in the publishing industry get a really good book out there, get an agent, or get a publisher,” said Stanley.
On the editor side of the equation, the company claims its offering enables editors to provide better, deeper story edits in less time, increasing the quality and profitability of editors’ services.
The writing and editing software space features a ton of players, from Grammarly to Scrivener, Novel Factory, and Canada’s Wattpad. According to Stanley, Fictionary is unique within the sectors in terms of its focus on storytelling elements and its use of AI. “We’re it right now as far as, there’s an automated way to do this, and have software for it,” said Stanley.
“While there are other platforms endeavoring to address this gap in the market, there doesn’t appear to be a single player who is able to look at the writing and editing process in a comprehensive and meaningful way, which puts Fictionary at a sizeable advantage to lead the charge and expand into new markets and segments,” Michelle Scarborough, managing partner of BDC Capital’s Thrive Venture Fund, told BetaKit.
RELATED: StandUp Ventures reveals second fund dedicated to women-led startups with $30 million first close
Fictionary previously secured $100,000 in grant funding from Creative BC and raised $245,000 in pre-seed funding in 2019 from a group of angels that included Shopify co-founder Scott Lake, Stephanie Andrew of Women’s Equity Lab, and FirstEditing founder and CEO JoEllen Taylor.
According to Stanley, following that pre-seed round, Fictionary reached breakeven cash flow and had to decide whether to keep going on its current track or set its sights higher.
Following some discussions with StandUp Ventures, Fictionary decided to embark on a new chapter and raise more venture capital to tackle the opportunity it sees in this space amid the rise of self-publishing. “We have a great product, we’ve got product-market fit, we’ve got a market, so let’s just go for it,” said Stanley.
“The love for the product Fictionary users articulate so regularly is rare, and indicative of the power and impact the tool brings to its customers,” said StandUp Ventures senior associate Lucas Perlman, who is joining Fictionary’s board as part of the round. “The self-publishing world has exploded, and we believe Fictionary is poised to become a de-facto part of the story writing toolkit for writers and editors around the globe.”
RELATED: Wattpad’s new leader is focused on creator value
For her part, Scarborough said the Thrive Venture Fund sees “a sizeable opportunity [for Fictionary] in the fast-growing creator economy space—a market with many dimensions—within writing and editing, screenwriting, non-fiction, and beyond.”
To date, Fictionary has focused entirely on fiction but Stanley said the startup’s roadmap includes moving into non-fiction, where the CEO sees plenty of potential to apply its tech to helping people tell their own life stories. Fictionary also sees an opportunity to help agencies and publishers clear the slush pile of submitted manuscripts.
As it looks to build out its own community of writers and editors, Fictionary follows in the footsteps of Wattpad, which parlayed its vibrant self-publishing community of writers and readers—and the content produced by them—into a $754 million CAD acquisition last year.
After discussions with StandUp, Fictionary decided to embark on a new chapter.
“Wattpad is very inspirational for us,” said Stanley. “They are different in the sense that people write their stories in the community, where we help writers take those stories and turn them into powerful stories readers love. Their community is a great lead-in to Fictionary for writers needing to edit their stories.”
As the startup charts its growth strategy amid an uncertain economic environment, Stanley is confident that Fictionary is well-positioned to grow during this period, noting that people tend to write more when they are stressed. Back when COVID-19 first hit and everyone was cooped up, the CEO said people begin writing more, and demand for Fictionary rose. Heading into what could be a deep downturn, Stanley believes Fictionary is in a good spot given that it offers a tool to help people do their passion without spending a lot of money.
What Perlman finds most exciting is the appreciation Fictionary’s customers have for the startup’s product, noting that writers “pour countless hours into their stories and writing books is an emotional and very personal thing to take on.”
“Fictionary has removed a major hurdle that stopped these creators from bringing their stories into the world,” Perlman told BetaKit. “The impact of that really comes through when you speak to their customers and see feedback from their community.”
Feature image courtesy Fictionary.
BOISE, Idaho (KIFI) – In the lead-up to Election Day, Attorney General Lawrence Wasden, Secretary of State Lawerence Denney, U.S. Attorney for the District of Idaho Josh Hurwit and Idaho’s county clerks are urging Idahoans to get their election-related information from trusted sources and to report any voting rights or voter fraud concerns to officials.
In their role overseeing local elections, Idaho clerks say they’re encountering misinformation circulating among the electorate. Much of the false or misleading information originates in social media and is especially dangerous because of its unknown sources, their motives and how quickly it can proliferate across platforms. Elections officials encourage voters to turn to official sources like VoteIdaho.gov and local resources like their county clerk’s elections office to ensure they are getting election information they can rely on.
“Voting is a fundamental right and one we should all take seriously,” Attorney General Wasden said. “A component of that is casting an informed ballot that’s based on legitimate information from trustworthy sources. I encourage all Idahoans to make this a priority before they go to the polls.”
Officials encourage voters to treat information from unofficial sources with a healthy amount of skepticism. If something seems unusual or sensational, voters should check it out with an official source. Secretary of State Denney asks voters to contact their county clerk or his office with questions. A list of Idaho county clerks with contact information is available at https://voteidaho.gov/county-clerks/.
“Idaho’s elections are run by 44 elected county clerks with oversight by the Secretary of State,” says Lawerence Denney, Idaho’s chief election official. “It’s only logical, then, that Idahoans’ trusted source of information on elections should start in the same place – with their local clerk. The more we can keep the disinformation from spreading by checking details at the source, the better election we can run for Idaho.”
Elections officials say Idaho’s system is safe and reliable. County clerks rely on strong laws enacted by the state legislature to administer elections. Election officials say this results in a uniform system across the state that Idahoans can be confident in.
On the federal level, U.S. Attorney Hurwit has multiple Assistant U.S. Attorneys across the state ready to address voting rights and election fraud concerns in consultation with components of the U.S. Justice Department in Washington D.C. Anyone with a complaint about interference with the integrity of the election should contact the U.S. Attorney’s Office at (208) 334-1211, or the Civil Rights Division’s Voting Section in Washington D.C. by emailing email@example.com or by complaint form at https://civilrights.justice.gov/report/.
“The right to vote is the cornerstone of American democracy,” U.S. Attorney Hurwit said. “We all must ensure that those who are entitled to vote can exercise it if they choose, and that those who seek to corrupt elections are brought to justice. Similarly, election officials and staff must be able to serve without being subject to unlawful threats of violence. The Department of Justice will always work tirelessly to protect the integrity of the election process.”