WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration with oversight over federal elections, issued the following statement following reports of a fake robocall that used President Biden’s voice to tell recipients not to vote in New Hampshire. 

“These AI-created deepfakes of candidates are dangerous to our democracy, and we’re already starting to see this happen with the reported fake robocall using the President’s voice to tell people not to vote in New Hampshire. Whether you are a Democrat or a Republican, no one wants to see fake ads or robocalls where you cannot even tell if it’s your candidate or not. That’s why I’m leading a bipartisan bill in the Senate to ban deceptive AI-generated content in our elections. We need federal action to ensure this powerful technology is not used to deceive voters and spread disinformation.”

As Chair of the Rules Committee, Senator Klobuchar has worked on a bipartisan basis to safeguard our elections and strengthen democracy. 

In September Klobuchar introduced the Protect Elections from Deceptive AI Act with Senators Josh Hawley (R-MO), Ranking Member of the Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law; Chris Coons (D-DE), Chair of the Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Intellectual Property; and Susan Collins (R-ME), Vice Chair of the Appropriations Committee and former Chair of the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. The bill was later joined by Senators Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Pete Ricketts (R-NE). 

The bipartisan bill would amend the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 (FECA) to prohibit the distribution of materially deceptive AI-generated audio, images, or video relating to federal candidates in political ads or certain issue ads to influence a federal election or fundraise. The bill allows federal candidates targeted by this materially deceptive content to have content taken down and enables them to seek damages in federal court. This ban extends to a person, political committee, or other entity that distributes materially deceptive content intended to influence an election or raise money fraudulently. Consistent with the First Amendment, the bill has exceptions for parody, satire, and the use of AI-generated content in news broadcasts.