Political Operative Says He Sent Biden Robocall To Voters Urging Them Not To Vote

The AI-generated call encouraged New Hampshire voters to skip out on the primary election in January with a voice that emulated President Biden's.

A political operative says that he was behind a robocall imitating President Joe Biden that went out to thousands of voters urging them not to vote.

“The evening of Sunday, January 20th, 2 days before the New Hampshire primary, I sent out an automated call to 5,000 most likely to vote Democrats. Using easy to use online technology, an automated version of President Joe Biden’s voice was created,” Steve Kramer told NBC News.

“With a mere $500 investment, anyone could replicate my intentional call,” Kramer added. “Immediate action is needed across all regulatory bodies and platforms.”

The robocall encouraged New Hampshire voters to skip out on the primary election in January.

“Voting this Tuesday only enables the Republicans in their quest to elect Donald Trump again. Your vote makes a difference in November, not this Tuesday,” the voice automated to sound like Biden said.

The New Hampshire attorney general’s office is investigating the call. It linked two Texas companies — Lingo Telecom and Life Corporation — to the call, but said there are other entities “who are not necessarily responsible for the calls but who we believe have pertinent information,” HuffPost previously reported.

The state’s DOJ sent document preservation notices and subpoenas to both companies, according to HuffPost. It also sent Life Corporation a cease-and-desist letter, while The Federal Communications Commission sent one to Lingo Telecom, HuffPost added.

While Biden ultimately won the New Hampshire primary without having been on the ballot, the calls highlight concerns about artificial intelligence and its role in elections.

“I think this case is unique in that it’s providing us a real-life example of an attempt to use AI to interfere with an election,” Formella previously said. “That’s been something we’ve been concerned about in the law enforcement community for a while, and certainly something that the state attorneys general have talked about, but we have not seen as concrete an example as this, days before a primary, an attempt to use AI to interfere with an election.”

Kramer’s decision to come forward follows comments made by Paul Carpenter, a New Orleans magician, who claims he was hired by Kramer to create the deepfake without knowing the audio would be used to push voters away from heading to the polls.

Carpenter shared screenshots with both NBC and The Associated Press, including a text message in which Kramer said he sent him the script for the robocall. Venmo transactions show Carpenter received a $150 payment ahead of the New Hampshire primary from an account that shares the name of Kramer’s father.

Carpenter told AP he was under the impression that Kramer worked with Biden and that the purpose of the fake audio was a way to save the president time from having to head to a studio to record the message.

“I didn’t know anything about him working on the other presidential campaign,” Carpenter said of Kramer.

Kramer worked on getting Democratic candidate Dean Phillips on the ballot in New York and Pennsylvania, according to Katie Dolan, Phillips’ press secretary, who criticized the move and told NBC that the candidate had no involvement.

Phillips also took to X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, on Sunday to address Kramer’s revelation.

“Glad he fessed-up,” Phillips wrote. “America should already have AI guardrails in place to prevent its nefarious use.”

In 2020, a similar scenario played out with two conservative activists, Jack Burkman and Jacob Wohl, who orchestrated more than 1,000 robocalls between Aug. 26 to Sept. 14, 2020. The two ended up getting fined more than $5 million and required to do community service.

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