New Hampshire voters received robocalls over the weekend with a voice most likely artificially generated to impersonate President Biden, urging them not to vote in Tuesday’s primary election, according to the attorney general’s office of State.
The fake recordings, which told listeners that “your vote makes a difference in November, not this Tuesday,” were manipulated to make it appear like they were sent by a Democratic committee official, the office said .
The attorney general’s office stressed that voting in the primary would not exclude voters to also vote in the general elections in November.
“These messages appear to be an illegal attempt to disrupt the New Hampshire presidential primary election and suppress New Hampshire voters,” the office said in a statement. “New Hampshire voters should completely ignore the content of this message.”
Experts on misinformation and politics have expressed concern that such misleading audio, known as deepfake, could become prevalent this election season. Last year, the Republican National Committee used the technology to generate a video containing images of doomsday scenarios after Mr. Biden announced his re-election bid. Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida posted fake images of former President Donald J. Trump, his political rival, with Dr. Anthony Fauci, the former health official.
State lawmakers are scrambling to draft bills to regulate political content produced by artificial intelligence, which has already been used in close foreign elections to mislead voters.
“Deepfake’s political moment has arrived,” Robert Weissman, president of the progressive watchdog group Public Citizen, said in a statement. “Policymakers must hurry to put protections in place, or we will face electoral chaos. »
In New Hampshire, the attorney general’s office began investigating allegations of robocalls following a complaint from Kathleen Sullivan, former chair of the state Democratic Party. In her complaint, Ms. Sullivan said recipients of the unauthorized robocalls saw her husband’s name on their caller ID and were given his personal cell phone number to call to request removal from the list. calls.
Ms. Sullivan, treasurer of a political committee pushing voters to write in Mr. Biden’s name in Tuesday’s vote, wrote in her complaint that “these kinds of tactics, if left unpunished, will only get worse in the future.” ‘future”.