Lawsuit Alleges New Hampshire Primary Robocall Scheme Suppressed Democratic Voters

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A group of individual New Hampshire voters and the League of Women Voters filed a federal lawsuit today alleging that a scheme involving thousands of AI-generated robocalls sought to suppress Democratic voter participation in New Hampshire’s 2024 presidential primary. 

According to the lawsuit, the defendants — political operative Steve Kramer and two telecom companies — sent thousands of robocalls simulating the voice of President Joe Biden that urged recipients not to vote in New Hampshire’s Jan. 23, 2024 presidential primary. The robocalls, which the lawsuit says were executed just two days prior to the primary and at a very low cost, told voters to “save” their vote for the general election. 

The complaint states that the robocalls specifically attempted to intimidate and deter likely Democratic voters from participating in the primary by “falsely and maliciously” stating that doing so would “only enable[] the Republicans in their quest to elect Donald Trump again.”

The lawsuit also claims that at least some of the robocalls “spoofed” a personal phone number “associated with a prominent former state Democratic Party leader known to be a supporter of President Biden.”

“If Defendants’ deceptive and coercive tactics are not immediately declared unlawful, enjoined, and punished, citizens’ ability to exercise their right to vote free and unimpaired—the linchpin of all other civil and political rights—will be imperiled,” the lawsuit reads. 

The new civil suit asserts that the defendants’ AI-generated, “mass voter suppression” scheme must be declared unlawful under Section 11(b) of the Voting Rights — which protects voters from intimidation — as well as the Telephone Consumer Protection Act and New Hampshire state law. In addition to requesting that a federal court declare the defendants’ conduct “unlawful for the sake of protecting the long-term health of American democracy,” the plaintiffs seek monetary damages. 

Meanwhile, a criminal probe into the robocalls announced by the New Hampshire attorney general’s office in early February remains ongoing. At the end of February, Kramer — who admitted to orchestrating the robocall scheme and has engaged in past election-related misconduct — said he wanted to “wake up” the country about the potential for AI to influence elections. 

Today’s lawsuit concluded that if the defendants are not permanently prohibited from “deploying AI-generated robocalls, there is a strong likelihood that it will happen again.”

Read the complaint here.

Learn more about the case here.