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Twitter to further fight misinformation on U.S. voting, including mail-in ballots

In this May 28, 2020, photo, Dave Turnier processes mail-in ballots at at the Chester County Voter Services office in West Chester, Pa., prior to the primary election. President Donald Trump’s campaign and allies have blocked efforts to expand mail-in voting, forcing an awkward confrontation with top GOP election officials promoting the opposite in their states. The rare dissonance between Trump and other Republican elected officials also reflects another reality that the president will not concede: Many in his party believe expanding mail-in voting could ultimately help him.
In this May 28, 2020, photo, Dave Turnier processes mail-in ballots at at the Chester County Voter Services office in West Chester, Pa., prior to the primary election. President Donald Trump’s campaign and allies have blocked efforts to expand mail-in voting, forcing an awkward confrontation with top GOP election officials promoting the opposite in their states. The rare dissonance between Trump and other Republican elected officials also reflects another reality that the president will not concede: Many in his party believe expanding mail-in voting could ultimately help him. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Twitter said late on Wednesday it plans to expand its rules against misinformation regarding mail-in ballots and early voting in the U.S. elections this year.

The move, reported earlier by Politico and confirmed by a Twitter executive, will involve coming up with new policies “that emphasize accurate information about all available options to vote, including by mail and early voting.”

Read more: Trump encourages mail-in voting in Florida after months of criticizing the practice

“Ahead of the 2020 U.S. Election, we’re focused on empowering every eligible person to register and vote through partnerships, tools and new policies,” Jessica Herrera-Flanigan, Twitter’s vice president for public policy in the Americas, told Reuters in an email.

The social media platform also said it would roll out measures on new tools, policies, and voting resources in the next month.

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Click to play video 'Trump defends claim that mail-in voting is ‘invitation to fraud’' Trump defends claim that mail-in voting is ‘invitation to fraud’
Trump defends claim that mail-in voting is ‘invitation to fraud’

Twitter said it is exploring how to expand its “civic integrity policies” to address mischaracterizations of mail-in voting and other procedures, including registration. The finer details of the step are still being finalized.

U.S. President Donald Trump has repeatedly claimed without evidence that voting by mail, which is expected to increase dramatically this fall due to coronavirus outbreak, is susceptible to large-scale fraud.

Read more: Donald Trump suggests delaying U.S. election due to mail-in voting

Voting by mail is not new in the United States — nearly one in four voters cast 2016 presidential ballots that way.

Routine methods and the decentralized nature of U.S. elections make it very hard to interfere with mailed ballots, experts say.

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Late last month, Facebook Inc placed a “voting info” label on a post by Trump that said mail-in voting would lead to a “CORRUPT ELECTION.”

(Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru. Editing by Gerry Doyle)