DOJ says AI-assisted threats to election workers increasing

By Jen Krausz on
 May 15, 2024

Attorney General Merrick Garland reported on behalf of the DOJ on Tuesday that an "unprecedented" number of threats against election workers are being "supercharged by advanced technologies" including Artificial Intelligence.

Garland made the announcement ahead of a DOJ Election Threats Task Force meeting. The task force formed after the 2020 election and has made 17 prosecutions and 13 convictions so far.

"As these crimes mutate with technology, they may be easier to hide and cheaper to perpetrate — but they are still crimes," Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco said about the disturbing trend.

"Violent threats using AI are still violent threats," she added. "So in these cases, where threat actors use advanced technology like artificial intelligence to make crimes more dangerous and more impactful, the Department of Justice will seek enhanced sentences."

The guidelines allow sentence enhancements for "the use of sophisticated means or a special skill, as well as upward variances to reflect the seriousness of the offense where no enhancement applies."

According to the Brennan Center for Justice, 38% of local election officials have "experienced threats, harassment, or abuse for doing their jobs," and many of them are leaving their positions because of it.