MANCHESTER, NH — The New Hampshire attorney general's office says it is investigating what it calls an “unlawful attempt” to suppress voters after President Joe Biden's robocall told NBC News not to vote in Tuesday's presidential election.
“Although the voice on the robocall was that of President Biden, based on initial indications the message appears to be artificially generated,” the attorneys general's office said. Report. “These messages appear to be an illegal attempt to disrupt the New Hampshire presidential election and suppress New Hampshire voters. New Hampshire voters should disregard the content of this message in its entirety.”
The investigation comes after a prominent New Hampshire Democrat filed a complaint after his personal cell phone number showed up on the caller ID of those receiving the calls.
“What a bunch of malarkey,” the robocall phone message begins, echoing a favorite phrase Biden has said before.
“It's important to save your vote for the November election,” the message said.
“Voting this Tuesday only helps Republicans re-elect Donald Trump. Your vote makes the difference in November, not this Tuesday,” it said.
The message ends with the phone number of Cathy Sullivan, the former chairwoman of the New Hampshire Democratic Party, who now runs a super PAC supporting a campaign urging New Hampshire Democrats to write in Biden's name in the primary.
If you received this robocall or have more information about it, contact NBC News Here.
Biden's name did not appear on Tuesday's ballot, a result of state election officials setting South Carolina's Feb. 3 primary as the first sanctioned race for the 2024 nomination under new Democratic National Committee rules.
But local supporters launched a late write-in effort for Biden as a way to send a message to the national party about Marshall's support and the Granite State's homegrown, centuries-old heritage.
In an interview, Sullivan said she began receiving calls Sunday evening from people who received the message. One woman she spoke to said Biden called her, although she said she was not a Biden supporter.
“I said, 'You got a call from Joe Biden and he gave me my number?'” she replied to Sullivan.
A volunteer for the write-in campaign also received the call and recorded it, Sullivan says, and shared it with organizers of the Biden write-in campaign. One of the organizers shared it with NBC News.
It is not clear how many voters were invited or what type of voters were targeted. Lists of voters' phone numbers can be readily purchased from data brokers.
And Sullivan said that while it was unclear who was behind the robocall, “it was someone who wanted to hurt Joe Biden.”
“I want them prosecuted as much as possible because it's an attack on democracy,” said Sullivan, a lawyer who believes the call violates several laws. “I'm not going to let it go. I want to know who's paying for it? Who knows about it? Who benefits?”
He also plans to get involved with federal law enforcement, he said.
Biden campaign manager Julie Chavez Rodriguez said the campaign is “actively discussing additional steps to take immediately.”
Sullivan served as party chairman in 2002 when a phone-jamming attempt was made during a hotly contested U.S. Senate race. including two Republican officials Administrative director State Republican and Republican National Committee activist guilty Using computer-generated phone calls to disrupt Democrats' polling call center operations.
State officials are speaking out against the calls.
New Hampshire Secretary of State, David Scanlon, said The calls “reinforce national concern about the impact of artificial intelligence on campaigns.”
Sen. Maggie Hassan, D.N.H., said she hopes the turnout effort will backfire on Biden.
“I urge Granite Staters to make sure their friends and neighbors know the truth and write in even bigger numbers in President Biden's name,” he said.
Minnesota Congressman Dean Phillips' campaign, which challenged Biden's nomination, said it was unaware of the calls but called it “hostile.”
“Any attempt to discourage voters is disgraceful and an unacceptable affront to democracy,” said Katie Dolan. “The potential use of AI to manipulate voters is deeply troubling.”
A spokeswoman for Trump's campaign denied any connection to the call, saying, “We're not, we had nothing to do with it.”