How Arizona is preparing for AI-powered election misinformation
Apr 16, 2024

How Arizona is preparing for AI-powered election misinformation

Arizona became a hotbed of election-related conspiracy theories in 2020 after President Joe Biden won the state by a narrow margin. As artificial intelligence threatens to supercharge the spread of misinformation, Arizona Secretary of State Adrian Fontes discusses how his office is responding.

President Joe Biden won Arizona in 2020 by a razor-thin margin, flipping the state blue for the first time in more than 20 years. As a result, Arizona became a hotbed of election misinformation and conspiracy theories, as false claims of a stolen election led to protests outside voting centers, a GOP-backed ballot audit and threats against election workers.

Now, with just over 200 days until the 2024 election, experts warn that artificial intelligence could supercharge misinformation and disinformation in this year’s race. So how are election officials in a state that has already been in the trenches preparing for another battle over facts?

In this episode of “Marketplace Tech’s” limited series, “Decoding Democracy,” Lily Jamali and Kimberly Adams look back at what happened in Arizona during the last presidential election and how the state became entangled in conspiracy theories. Plus, we hear from Arizona Secretary of State Adrian Fontes about how his office plans to combat AI-charged misinformation this year.

This conversation was part of “Marketplace Tech’s” limited series, “Decoding Democracy.” Watch the full episode here or on our YouTube channel and don’t forget to hit the audio player at the top of this page to hear Lily’s full interview with Arizona Secretary of State Adrian Fontes.

More on everything we talked about

Fox’s Arizona call for Biden flipped the mood at Trump headquarters” from The New York Times

Arizona expects to be back at the center of election attacks. Its top officials are going on offense” from The Associated Press

Why Arizona is a hotbed of election conspiracy theories” from The New Yorker

Arizona creates own deep-fake election hoaxes to prepare for 2024” from Politico

A tide of election worker resignations raises alarms ahead of 2024” from CNN

CNN Poll: Percentage of Republicans who think Biden’s 2020 win was illegitimate ticks back up near 70%” from CNN

Some Republicans in Washington state cast a wary eye on an election security device” from NPR

Arizona official refutes review that counted 282 dead voters” from The Associated Press

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The team

Daisy Palacios Senior Producer
Daniel Shin Producer
Jesús Alvarado Associate Producer
Rosie Hughes Assistant Producer