There was an 80% spike in protests and demonstrations during the week of the 2020 general election over the prior week. During the same period, hundreds of protests occurred across the nation, and at least seventeen states reported riots. Meanwhile, election officials in twelve states received nearly 800 intimidating and/or threatening messages, including more than one hundred that met the threshold of potential prosecution. Approximately 800,000 swing state voters received misleading robocalls with messages to stay home on election day. Experts analyzing social media between January 2020 and September 2020 found a massive 3.1 million mentions of disinformation about voting by mail. Public opinion surveys showed that voters did not find the news media particularly trustful in covering the elections. Additionally, callers to the 1-866-OUR-VOTE legal hotline during the last week of the 2020 election reported concerns with intimidation both at the polls and online, as well as public safety, electioneering, poll worker misconduct, and police presence at the polls.
Although there are states that have passed laws in attempts to counter such interference, many more need to do so. Measures seeking to mitigate external influences include media literacy education requirements in public schools, weapon bans at polling sites, poll worker training mandates, prohibitions on obstructing entrances/hindering voter access, criminalization of voter intimidation and false election speech, and reduction of police presence at polling sites
(unless summoned on official business).