An anti-voting robocall that seems to use an artificially generated version of President Joe Biden’s voice is being investigated by the New Hampshire Attorney General’s office. The calls sent on Sunday told Democrats to avoid voting in the Presidential Primary on January 23.
“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 state AG’s office said in an announcement today. The recorded message appears “to be an unlawful attempt to disrupt the New Hampshire Presidential Primary Election and to suppress New Hampshire voters,” the announcement said.
The “Biden” voice in the recording (available with this NBC News article) sounds a bit off but perhaps could fool some people into thinking it came from the president.
“What a bunch of malarkey,” the voice says. “You know the value of voting Democratic when our votes count. It’s important that you save your vote for the November election. We’ll need your help in electing Democrats up and down the ticket. 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.”
NBC News reported that a spokesperson for the Trump campaign said it had no connection to the fake Biden call. “Not us, we have nothing to do with it,” the spokesperson said.
Spoofed Caller ID
The apparently spoofed Caller ID displayed the personal cell phone number of “a prominent New Hampshire Democrat,” NBC News wrote. Biden’s national campaign manager, Julie Chavez Rodriguez, said the “campaign is actively discussing additional actions to take immediately,” according to NBC News.
Biden isn’t officially on the ballot in New Hampshire this week because of a dispute over scheduling between New Hampshire Democrats and the Democratic National Committee. But there’s a write-in campaign supporting Biden in the Democratic primary, and a spokesperson for the write-in campaign described the robocall as “deepfake disinformation designed to harm Joe Biden, suppress votes, and damage our democracy.”
The New Hampshire AG’s office said the fake Biden call “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 message’s content directed recipients who wished to be removed from a calling list to call the number belonging to this person.”
The AG’s office pointed out that no law prevents someone from voting in both January and November. “Voting in the New Hampshire Presidential Primary Election does not preclude a voter from additionally voting in the November General Election,” the AG’s office said.