Artificial Intelligence (AI) is new, but change in how campaigns and elections operate is not.
Candidates, campaign staff and election administrators have always adapted to new technologies, be it political ads popping up in the mid-20th century or more recently as anonymous cryptocurrency contributions became an option.
With the recent emergence of multiple AI programs that can produce realistic images, videos and voices in a matter of seconds, both campaigns and state policymakers are adjusting.
People have always attempted to alter or misrepresent media to influence an election. Some states have criminal impersonation laws that were enacted before the advent of the internet, which may apply to AI such as Wisconsin’s §12.05, enacted in 1976.
In 2023 legislation may use different terms such as “deepfake”, “synthetic media” or “deceptive media” when referring to AI. These terms all refer to what people commonly think of as AI but may have different implications depending on what term is used and how statute defines it. Two bills have been enacted this year, both related to the use of AI generated content.
This webpage includes two tables below. The first captures all existing statutes governing the use of AI in elections. The second table captures legislation introduced in 2023 that relates to AI as it applies to elections, whether enacted or otherwise. For a broad overview of all legislation relating to AI, please see Legislation Related to Artificial Intelligence and Artificial Intelligence 2023 Legislation.