Election Interference in New Hampshire?

(5minnewsbreak.com) – A leading New Hampshire Democrat has voiced strong condemnation against the creators of a robocall that imitated Joe Biden’s voice and urged Democrats to abstain from voting in the primary.

Kathy Sullivan, a prominent figure in the state’s Democratic Party and a former state party chair, called for rigorous legal action, labeling the incident a direct assault on the democratic process.

“I want them to be prosecuted to the fullest extent possible because this is an attack on democracy,” Sullivan declared to NBC News.

As an attorney, she expressed belief that the call could violate several laws. Her determination to uncover the parties behind this deceptive act is evident as she questions, “Who’s paying for it? Who knew about it? Who benefits?”

New Hampshire’s Attorney General, John Formella, has advised voters to completely ignore the call’s content. NBC News released a recording of the call, which begins with “What a bunch of malarkey,” a phrase frequently associated with Biden. The voice in the call misleadingly suggests voters save their participation for the November election, falsely implying that voting in the Tuesday primary aids Republican efforts to re-elect Trump.

Interestingly, Biden’s name is absent from the Democratic ballot in New Hampshire due to the state’s decision not to follow the reorganized primary calendar that placed South Carolina first. Sullivan, who leads Granite for America, a Super PAC advocating for Biden as a write-in candidate, reported receiving calls about this misleading message, including from a woman who believed it was from Biden himself.

Sullivan emphasized the call’s malicious intent, linking it to her personal cellphone number without consent, an act she views as blatant election interference and harassment.

The situation also drew comments from the camp of Dean Phillips, a Minnesota congressman and Democratic nomination candidate. His spokesperson denounced any efforts to discourage voters, highlighting the troubling potential of AI in manipulating voters.

OpenAI, the AI tool ChatGPT developer, informed the Washington Post about removing a developer account that violated their policies by using AI for political campaigning or impersonation without consent. This action underlines the growing concerns over AI technology in politics.

The Biden campaign has not commented on the call, while a Trump campaign spokesperson denied involvement.

This incident occurs amidst a broader push for federal regulation of AI technology in campaigns. External groups, academics, and some politicians have raised alarms about AI’s potential to disrupt elections, especially given the current vulnerability of U.S. voters to misinformation.

A petition by Public Citizen is urging the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to regulate AI use in campaign ads. The FEC chair, Sean Cooksey, acknowledged the agency’s efforts to develop rules for AI and is considering public feedback. However, a resolution isn’t expected until early summer, deep into the campaign season.

Public Citizen has criticized the FEC’s pace, urging Congress to intervene. Robert Weissman, the organization’s president, emphasized the urgency of the situation: “The political deepfake moment is here… Policymakers must rush to put in place protections or we’re facing electoral chaos.”

The incident has highlighted the urgent need for legislation to address the use of AI in political campaigns, a challenge that various state lawmakers have begun to tackle through proposed bills.