LB1390 protects election workers against threats, digital manipulation

The bill enhances penalties for those who threaten, harass, or manipulate those tasked with conducting our state’s elections ­– including via artificial intelligence tools.

Legislative Bill 1390 would provide new protections for Nebraska election officials and workers by enhancing penalties for those who may threaten, harass, or manipulate those tasked with conducting our state’s elections ­– including via artificial intelligence tools.
The bill, introduced by State Sen. Eliot Bostar of Lincoln and co-sponsored by State Sens. Justin Wayne of Omaha and Carolyn Bosn of Lincoln, addresses these threats by:
›› Extending the penalties currently in place for manipulating deputy registrars for elections to include threats and harassment of all election officials and workers;
›› Creating new penalties for “doxxing” election officials – sharing their personal information and address online and without their consent to encourage their harassment; and
›› Creating new penalties for using artificial intelligence, or AI, to create fake videos or audio depicting an election official with the intent of sharing misinformation about an election.
“For our elections to remain accurate and secure, we need the experts who conduct them to feel safe continuing to do their work,” said Heidi Uhing, Civic Nebraska’s director of public policy. “Just since 2022, 14 states have responded by creating new protections and penalties for threats to election officials.”
AI presents a similar threat to the electoral process. The likelihood of AI technology being used to attempt to manipulate elections is growing rapidly, Uhing said. With very little effort, a “deep fake” video of an election official providing misleading information about our elections could be generated and then distributed widely, creating confusion, suppressing turnout, and undermining confidence in the electoral process.
“Given how contentious the 2024 election is shaping up to be, it would serve Nebraska well to have these guideposts in place,” Uhing said.
The full bill can be read here.

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