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Fontes talks AI election threats, blasts non-citizen voting concerns on 'Meet the Press'

A bipartisan group of secretaries of state from across the country participated in a roundtable discussion to address the challenges in maintaining election security. The group included Arizona’s Adrian Fontes.

The conversation, which aired on MSNBC’s “Meet the Press,” focused on threats received by election officials, voting by ineligible residents, and the role of artificial intelligence.

Fontes took issue with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, who said non-citizen voting is a serious problem.

“You did an audit, and you found that there were attempts, but none of those folks were actually registered and none of those folks actually voted and that means that elections have been safe and secure from noncitizen voting in Georgia, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Arizona and across the country, so I think this is a red herring,” Fontes said.

He explained the educational purpose behind creating a deepfake video of himself. 

“What I wanted to do is make sure that our elections officials were familiar with it, we had processes to deal with it and address it within each of our counties because our elections are run at the county level as well,” he said.

Fontes also said the increasing number of threats made to election officials are a problem, saying the increased vigilance has impacted officials, their families — and even their neighbors — nationwide.

He referred to those who make election threats as domestic terrorists.

Full episode

Ignacio Ventura is a reporter for KJZZ. He graduated from the University of Southern California with a bachelor’s degree in creative writing and a minor in news media and society.