U.S. Senate Will Debate Three Bipartisan Bills Addressing the Use of AI in Elections

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) introduced three bipartisan bills to protect election integrity amid the use of artificial intelligence in campaigns and election administration, and they will be debated tomorrow morning in committee.

Klobuchar — chair of the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration —  introduced S.2770, the Protect Elections from Deceptive AI Act, in September 2023, which would prohibit “the distribution of materially deceptive AI-generated audio or visual media relating to candidates for Federal office, and for other purposes.” The bill has five co-sponsors, including Sens. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) and Chris Coons (D-Del.).

“Right now, we’re seeing AI used as a tool to influence our democracy,” Klobuchar said in a September statement. “We need rules of the road in place to stop the use of fraudulent AI-generated content in campaign ads. Voters deserve nothing less than full transparency.”

Then, in March 2024, she introduced two more AI-related bills, both co-sponsored by Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine).

Klobuchar first introduced S.3875, the AI Transparency in Elections Act of 2024, which states that if a political advertisement contains images, audio or video generated by AI, then it needs to include a statement within the ad disclosing it.

“As AI continues to evolve into a powerful and widely available tool, Congress must put guardrails in place on the use of AI-generated content in elections so that people know if what they are seeing is real or AI-generated,” Klobuchar said in a March 6 statement

Then, she announced S. 3897, the Preparing Election Administrators for AI Act, which would require the U.S. Election Assistance Commission to create guidelines for election officials on how AI can be used in the administration of elections, as well as how to mitigate the risks and harms of AI use in elections and campaigns, like cybersecurity concerns and the spread of disinformation.

“In an era when artificial intelligence technology is rapidly advancing, election administrators would benefit from comprehensive guidance in order to effectively counter potential threats to our election processes,” Collins said in a March 12 statement

On Monday, several members of the U.S. House of Representatives, including Pennsylvania Reps. Chrissy Houlahan (D) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R), introduced a bipartisan bill that serves as companion legislation to S. 3897. 

“Ensuring the integrity of our elections is a shared responsibility that transcends party lines,” Houlahan said in yesterday’s statement. “By fostering collaboration and proactive measures, we can strengthen trust and confidence in our electoral system for the benefit of all Americans, regardless of political affiliation.”

The three Senate bills will be marked up in the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration tomorrow at 10 a.m. EDT, and after that, they could be sent to the Senate floor for consideration.

Read Senate Bills S.2770, S.3875 and S. 3897.

Read the House companion bill to the S.3897 bill here.