America’s election chiefs are worried AI is coming for them



Mar 11, 2024

A false call from a secretary of state telling poll workers they aren’t needed on Election Day. A fake video of a state election director shredding ballots before they’re counted. An email sent to a county election official trying to phish logins to its voter database.

Election officials worry that the rise of generative AI makes this kind of attack on the democratic process even easier ahead of the November election — and they’re looking for ways to combat it.

Election workers are uniquely vulnerable targets: They’re obscure enough that nobody knows who they really are, so unlike a fake of a more prominent figure — like Joe Biden or Donald Trump — people may not be on the lookout for something that seems off. At the same time, they’re important enough to fake and just public enough that it’d be easy to do.

Combine that with the fact that election officials are still broadly trusted by most Americans — but don’t have a way to effectively reach their voters — a well-executed fake of them could be highly dangerous but hard to counter.