Campaign ad regulatory bill passes House

The House approved a bill that would amend the election code to prohibit campaign materials that include deceptive media. HB 182 would add a disclaimer requirement for materially deceptive media and create the crime of distributing or entering into an agreement with another person to distribute materially deceptive media.  The bill’s sponsor, Democrat Gail Chasey […]

Campaign ad regulatory bill passes House

The House approved a bill that would amend the election code to prohibit campaign materials that include deceptive media.

HB 182 would add a disclaimer requirement for materially deceptive media and create the crime of distributing or entering into an agreement with another person to distribute materially deceptive media. 

The bill’s sponsor, Democrat Gail Chasey of Albuquerque, said it was an attempt to address the use of artificial intelligence to create misleading campaign images.

The bill defines materially deceptive media such as an image, video or audio that shows someone doing something they did not do that was published, distributed or otherwise displayed to the public without the depicted person’s consent and was made in whole or in part through the use of artificial intelligence.

The bill makes such conduct a misdemeanor on the first offense and a fourth degree felony for the second offense.

The New Mexico Department of Justice wrote in the bill’s Fiscal Impact Report that the bill could be challenged on First Amendment grounds of limiting free speech.

However, the NMDOJ would “provide factual information to the electorate, ensure that the voters are fully informed, and at the very least, avoid confusion by making clear that the ads are created by Artificial Intelligence,” the NMDOJ report stated. 

The New Mexico Secretary of State’s Office was more optimistic about the bill.

“The provisions of House Bill 182 would create needed transparency to help build essential trust among New Mexico’s voters in the electoral process,” the Secretary of State’s Office report states. “They would make voters aware of the use of AI in the democratic process and increase an understanding of the existence of mis- and dis- information.”

The bill falls in line with President Joe Biden’s executive order promoting AI safeguards that was signed in October and established a government-wide effort to create responsible AI guidelines

The House approved the bill on a 38-to-28 vote and it now goes to the Senate side.

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