But after what local election officials call a contentious, divisive 2020 election year, concerns are growing of an increased amount of election misinformation online.
“This is something we’re definitely concerned about,” says John Catalano, a spokesperson with the SC Election Commission. “We’ve seen a major ramp up in misinformation recently.”
The concerns come amid rising reports of election misinformation nationwide. A recent report from the States United Democracy Center, a nonpartisan election data organization, recently released a report saying nearly six in ten Americans will likely come across some form of election misinformation online this year.
St Cyr Luttmer, the coordinator of the University of South Carolina’s social media insights lab, worries more misinformation could take a toll on voters at the polls.
“It’s definitely a concern because not everyone takes steps to make sure they’re getting the correct information,” Luttmer says.
To find reliable election information, state election officials say voters should go to the South Carolina Election Commission’s website. There, voters can find information on candidates, how to find their polling place and even how to register to vote.
For voters who are unsure how to spot misinformation online, Luttmer says the best thing you can do is check the source of what you see on the web.
“Make sure that what you’ve read about candidates is accurate,” Luttmer says. “When you find someone posting election information, track the source and see where they got it from.”
Meanwhile, if you find unreliable election information, local election agencies say you should immediately report it.