Fake Biden Robocalls Urge Voters Not To Vote In New Hampshire Primary

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The weekend before the New Hampshire primary, voters received a call from what sounded like a digitally generated voice impersonating President Biden that advised them not to vote on Tuesday, according to complaints that the New Hampshire attorney general is investigating.

The call, which began with a catchphrase of Biden’s, calling the election “a bunch of malarkey,” told voters: “It’s important that you save your vote for the November election.” Biden is not on the ballot in the state’s Democratic primary, but a group of Democrats organized a campaign to write in his name to show support for the incumbent.

“Voting this Tuesday only enables the Republicans in their quest to elect Donald Trump again,” the robocall said, according to an audio recording provided by a Write-In Biden organizer. “Your vote makes a difference in November, not this Tuesday.”

“These messages appear to be an unlawful attempt to disrupt the New Hampshire Presidential Primary Election and to suppress New Hampshire voters,” Attorney General John Formella said in a statement. “New Hampshire voters should disregard the content of this message entirely.”

Former New Hampshire Democratic Party chair Kathy Sullivan, who also works for a PAC encouraging voters to write in Biden’s name on Tuesday, said she contacted the state’s attorney general after people started calling her Sunday night to tell her they had received the call with her number on their caller IDs. It is unclear how many voters received the call or what their party affiliation was.

“I’m disgusted and angry because trying to suppress the vote for me is just an unpardonable sin,” Sullivan told The Washington Post. The Biden write-in campaign said the call would be referred to law enforcement to find who was responsible.

Robocall origins can be difficult to identify, as callers may conceal their numbers, and voters’ phone numbers can be bought from data brokers. In 2020, a torrent of calls and texts to voters telling them to “stay home” spurred state and federal investigations, but officials at the time warned it would be difficult to find the culprits.

“This is deepfake disinformation designed to harm Joe Biden, suppress votes and damage our democracy,” write-in campaign spokesman Aaron Jacobs said. “We are confident that New Hampshire voters will respond by showing up to the polls and making clear that we won’t be intimidated by these dirty tricks.”

Biden’s campaign manager, Julie Chavez Rodriguez, said in a statement that the campaign is “actively discussing additional actions to take immediately.”

“Spreading disinformation to suppress voting and deliberately undermine free and fair elections will not stand, and fighting back against any attempt to undermine our democracy will continue to be a top priority for this campaign,” she said.

The presidential campaign for Rep. Dean Phillips (D-Minn.), who is challenging Biden, said it did not know about the calls until a reporter reached out Sunday night. A spokesman for the Trump campaign said: “Not us. We have nothing to do with it.”

“Any effort to discourage voters is disgraceful and an unacceptable affront to democracy. The potential use of AI to manipulate voters is deeply disturbing,” Phillips spokeswoman Katie Dolan said.

(c) 2024 , The Washington Post · Meryl Kornfield 


3 COMMENTS

  1. Those who vote for Trump are well aware that Biden is a fake and the robocalls are fake shebefake.

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