Threats to Election Integrity

This webpage provides information about threats to the integrity of provincial elections in British Columbia.

Disinformation and misinformation

Disinformation is false information that is deliberately intended to mislead voters. Misinformation is false information that is believed to be true.

In other words, individuals who spread disinformation know that it is false, but individuals who share misinformation believe it is true.

Learning to spot disinformation helps protect election integrity by limiting the spread of false information about elections.

Disinformation can be hard to spot, but it can be identified by looking for common signs of false information. Voters should watch out for online content that:

  • Provokes a strong emotional response
  • Makes a bold statement or extraordinary claim
  • Seems too good to be true
  • Contains clickbait (such as “You won’t believe this video!”)
  • Uses small pieces of valid information that are exaggerated or distorted
  • Has been shared widely on platforms with a track record of spreading disinformation

These signs do not prove that content contains false information, but they are indicators that you should carefully consider the accuracy of the content before sharing it with others.

Foreign interference

Foreign interference is when a foreign state or someone acting for that state tries to influence a Canadian election in a deceptive way. Foreign interference can include:

  • Making illegal political contributions
  • Sponsoring prohibited election advertising
  • Disinformation campaigns
  • Threats or intimidation

Foreign interference activities are usually clandestine to avoid detection, but foreign interference activity can be mitigated. For example:

  • National security services, such as the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, which collects and assesses intelligence about foreign state activities, can detect and respond to interference attempts.
  • Electoral management bodies, such as Elections BC, can enforce election legislation that prohibits foreign campaign financing.
  • Members of the public can report activities that may constitute foreign interference to public officials.

Threats to election security

Any threat to election workers, technology or processes is also a threat to election integrity.

This includes any attempt to:

  • Intimidate or threaten election workers
  • Disrupt election processes at voting places
  • Suppress voting or illegal influence voters (e.g., vote buying)
  • Commit voter fraud
  • Compromise election technology

Activities that compromise election security are serious offences under the Election Act.

Elections BC works closely with local and federal law enforcement agencies to keep election proceedings secure for everyone.