"These messages appear to be an unlawful attempt to disrupt the New Hampshire Presidential Primary Election."
Robocalls in New Hampshire during election season are nothing new — but one that used President Joe Biden's voice to dissuade people from voting in the state's presidential primaries has officials scratching their heads.
In a statement, the New Hampshire Attorney General's Office said it's investigating a series of robocalls targeting Democrats that used a Biden-like voice telling people not to vote in its primaries.
"Although the voice in the robocall sounds like the voice of President Biden, this message appears to be artificially generated based on initial indications," the statement indicated. "These messages appear to be an unlawful attempt to disrupt the New Hampshire Presidential Primary Election and to suppress New Hampshire voters."
Sent out on January 21, the message with the fake Biden voice told residents of the state that their vote vote "makes a difference in November, not this Tuesday."
As NBC News points out, the primary ballots do not include the incumbent president's name because it's conducted before South Carolina's, which is officially recognized as the first primary election in the country. As such, there's a write-in campaign to get people to vote for Biden to be the Democratic candidate — and officials are concerned that these robocalls may be an attempt to disrupt that effort.
The @WGME I-Team has obtained audio of a fake Joe Biden robocall targeting people in #NewHampshire telling them not to vote tomorrow. @NH_DOJ is investigating and believes this was made using #ArtificialInteligence. #fitn #NHPolitics pic.twitter.com/afi386wPXi
— Dan Lampariello (@DanWGME) January 22, 2024
"The message appears to have been 'spoofed' to falsely show that it had been sent by the treasurer of a political committee that has been supporting the New Hampshire Democratic Presidential Primary write-in efforts for President Biden," the state AG's statement added. "The message’s content directed recipients who wished to be removed from a calling list to call the number belonging to this person."
This blatant attempt at voter suppression is so egregious, even would-be Biden challenger Dean Phillips, a Minnesota congressman whose own brush with AI made headlines this past weekend, is calling it out.
"Any effort to discourage voters is disgraceful and an unacceptable affront to democracy," Phillips campaign spokesperson Katie Dolan told NBC in a separate article. "The potential use of AI to manipulate voters is deeply disturbing."
In a statement to NBC, Biden campaign manager Julie Chavez Rodriguez said only that "the campaign is actively discussing additional actions to take immediately," but when contacted by the same outlet, a Trump campaign spokesperson was more than happy to deny the GOP candidate's involvement.
"Not us, we have nothing to do with it," the surrogate told NBC.
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