The League of Women Voters has filed a nationwide preliminary injunction in League of Women Voters of New Hampshire v. Kramer to block the defendants from further use of AI technology to intimidate, threaten, coerce, or deceive voters. 

MANCHESTER, NH – (April 30, 2024) The League of Women Voters of the United States (LWV-US), the League of Women Voters of New Hampshire (LWV-NH), and several individual New Hampshire voters have filed a motion for preliminary injunction in the U.S. District Court of New Hampshire asking the court to stop the defendants from producing, generating, or distributing AI-generated robocalls, text messages or any form of spoofed communication impersonating any person, without that person’s express consent. Free Speech For People and Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP represent the plaintiffs, along with local counsel Preti, Flaherty, Beliveau, & Pachios, Chartered, LLP.

Ahead of the 2024 New Hampshire presidential primary, Steve Kramer paid to create a recorded message using artificial intelligence to mimic President Biden’s voice. Posing as President Biden, the messages falsely implied that voters could not vote in both the primary and general elections and urged voters to “save” their vote for November… When news of the deception became public, thousands of voters had already received robocalls.

“These deceptive robocalls attempted to cause widespread confusion among New Hampshire voters,” said Liz Tentarelli, president of the League of Women Voters of New Hampshire. “As a nonpartisan organization, the League of Women Voters works to ensure that all voters, regardless of their party affiliation, have the most accurate election information to make their voices heard. We will continue to advocate for New Hampshire voters and fight against malicious schemes to suppress the vote.” 

“These types of voter suppression tactics have no place in our democracy,” said Celina Stewart, chief counsel at the League of Women Voters of the United States. “Voters deserve to make their voices heard freely and without intimidation. For over 100 years, the League of Women Voters has worked to protect voters from these unlawful crimes and will continue to fight back against bad-faith actors who aim to disrupt our democratic system.”  

The lawsuit argues that the robocalls violated federal and state laws that protect voters from intimidation, threats, coercion, and deception: (1) the Voting Rights Act, which bans intimidating, threatening, or coercing, or attempting to intimidate, threaten or coerce, any person from voting; and (2) the Telephone Consumer Protection Act and related provisions of New Hampshire state law, which ban deceiving recipients about the source of robocalls or disseminating political messages via robocalls without disclosing who made and funded the calls.

“Fraudulently made robocalls have the potential to devastate voter turnout by flooding thousands of voters with intimidating, threatening, or coercive messages in a matter of hours,” says Courtney Hostetler, Senior Counsel at Free Speech For People, which serves as co-lead counsel for the plaintiffs. “No one should abuse technology to make lawful voters think that they should not, or cannot safely, vote in the primaries or in any election. It is an honor to represent the League of Women Voters and the other plaintiffs in this important case to protect the right to vote.”

“As a former state attorney general, I know the damage that voter suppression can inflict on our democracy,” said Mark Herring of Akin, a lawyer for the plaintiffs and former two-term Virginia attorney general. “We must hold accountable those who abuse new technology to undermine our freedom to vote.”

The League of Women Voters is at the forefront of the most important federal and state cases across the United States. To learn more about the League’s litigation work visit our Legal Center to review historic and active cases on our docket.  

Akin is a leading international law firm with more than 900 lawyers in offices throughout the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Akin’s global pro bono practice leverages the experience, knowledge and passion of our lawyers, advisors and business services personnel to advance access to justice by representing refugees seeking asylum, tenants fighting eviction, veterans seeking health benefits, domestic violence survivors, nonprofit organizations and other clients in need. 

Free Speech For People is a national non-profit organization dedicated to defending our democracy and our Constitution. The organization serves as a leading force in the country in litigation to protect the right to vote, including prior litigation stopping illegal voter intimidation in Minnesota leading up to the November 2020 election and current cases challenging voter intimidation in Colorado and voter suppression laws in Arizona and Texas. 

Read our motion for preliminary injunction here

Read our full complaint here.