AI and Election Security: The Real Threat of Disinformation

AI and Election Security

As the 2024 election cycle approaches, concerns about the integrity and security of the election process have taken center stage. However, the spotlight isn’t solely on the technological advancements in artificial intelligence (AI), but rather on how these advancements could amplify the risks associated with disinformation. Election officials and cybersecurity experts are bracing for the challenges ahead, acknowledging that while AI itself doesn’t introduce new threats, it significantly enhances the potential for harm by malicious actors.

Key Highlights:

  • Generative AI’s role in elections emphasizes the enhancement of existing risks rather than the introduction of new ones.
  • A concerted effort by leading technology companies at the Munich Security Conference has led to the formation of a Tech Accord to combat deceptive AI content in global elections.
  • Instances of AI-generated content misleading the public have underscored the urgent need for comprehensive safeguards against disinformation.
  • Collaborative initiatives and transparency among tech companies are pivotal in safeguarding election integrity against AI-generated misinformation.

AI and Election Security

Generative AI technologies, while offering opportunities for increased productivity and enhancing both the security and administration of elections, also carry the risk of being weaponized by cybercriminals and foreign nation-state actors. This dual-edged nature of AI has led election officials to lean on proven security best practices to mitigate these amplified risks​​.

In response to the growing concern, 20 leading technology companies have united under a Tech Accord announced at the 2024 Munich Security Conference. This accord is dedicated to preventing deceptive AI content from disrupting this year’s global elections, which will see over four billion people in more than 40 countries casting their votes. The accord aims to counter harmful AI-generated content that seeks to deceive voters by creating or altering audio, video, and images of political candidates or providing false information about the voting process​​.

Recent incidents have starkly illustrated the new era of challenges elections face due to widely accessible AI tools. Digital fabrications and deepfakes have the power to go viral, misleading thousands and potentially influencing voter behavior. For example, fabricated content falsely attributed to public figures has already made rounds on social media, demonstrating the ease with which AI can generate convincing disinformation. Beyond deliberate mischief, the use of AI in maintaining voter registration databases and verifying mail ballot signatures also presents risks of bias and inaccuracies, further complicating the landscape​​.

The Brennan Center for Justice, in collaboration with the Center for Security and Emerging Technology, has launched an essay series to explore AI’s potential impacts on election systems and political fundraising, among other areas. This initiative underscores the pressing need for a multifaceted approach to address the challenges posed by AI to the democratic process, from disinformation to the integrity of election systems themselves​​.

As AI continues to evolve, the battle against disinformation becomes increasingly complex. The concerted efforts by technology companies, election officials, and cybersecurity experts to develop and implement strategies to mitigate these risks are crucial. However, the path forward requires not just technological solutions but also a broad societal commitment to defending the integrity of our democratic processes against the insidious threats posed by AI-generated disinformation.


About the author

Allen Parker

Allen Parker

Allen is a qualified writer and a blogger, who loves to dabble with and write about technology. While focusing on and writing on tech topics, his varied skills and experience enables him to write on any topic related to tech which may interest him. You can contact him at