Duval County, DHS Work for Fair Elections

DHS helps Florida election officials protect against AI misinformation, disruptions

DHS released a report on how AI can be used to influence elections: See story by WJXT below

DUVAL COUNTY, Fla. – Florida election officials learned from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) how to protect local elections from artificial intelligence being used to spread misinformation.

RELATED: Now armed with AI, America’s adversaries will try to influence election, security officials warn

The DHS released a report on how election information can be used and abused quickly in the wrong hands through AI.

Duval County Supervisor of Elections Jerry Holland attended a meeting about the possible threats with DHS.

“Where we may see AI intervention not necessarily on the voting process as far as ballots and people voting or not being in the right people but on misinformation. That is the key where people can disrupt elections,” Holland said.

Holland said they were shown examples of how elections could be disrupted.

“AI can duplicate my voice, my look, almost as if I’m giving an interview or any official is giving an interview and that information will be something that is wrong,” Holland said. “Maybe saying that the deadline for registration is and change what that date is or that somehow changes the time of the elections or the requirements.”

The DHS report said, “...violence or threats could be directed at government officials...”

It also says Russia, China, and Iran likely see the upcoming election as a chance to influence and shape U.S. policy outcomes and undermine U.S. stability. The DHS said they will likely ramp up their efforts ahead of the election.

Officials said threat actors could target election-related networks and data, and attempt to exploit public-facing websites, webservers, and election-related information technology systems.

Georgia voters are preparing for the General Primary and Nonpartisan general election and they have mixed opinions on AI being used to interrupt elections.

Jean Draper said she isn’t worried about the technology, but the people operating it.

“I don’t have a problem with the equipment like I say, it’s who puts their hands on it,” Draper said.

Cindy Spell said she thinks people should do more research to be sure it’s the truth.

“I think there are a lot of things that interfere not just AI,” Spell said. “I think over the past ten years we’ve just had an increase in internal things impacting the way we perceive our elections and...we have a good system but people don’t tend to be logical and do their homework.”

Imagine getting a call from Holland, the Duval County Supervisor of Elections but it’s not really him.

Instead of looking up everything online on your phone, Holland recommends making a call.

“It’s kind of scary in a sense, we expect everyone to have this opportunity to vote and to see someone try to alter that or take that away. That is the part that really concerns us as election officials,” Holland said.

Despite the threat of AI, the country, local election officials, and voters said they are aware and ready to ensure it doesn’t interrupt their election process.

Click here to read the full Homeland Threat Assessment 2024 report.

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Dear Voter:

It is an honor and a privilege for our office to provide the information, education and technology to ensure fair elections for you, the voting citizens of Duval County. Our office and staff pledge to work diligently to serve your voting needs in an atmosphere of strict honesty, integrity and respect for every vote.

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Jerry Holland

Duval County Supervisor of Elections
105 E. Monroe St. Jacksonville, FL 32202
(904) 318-6877 (cell)

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