Face to face with deepfakes.

Table-top exercises (TTXs) are used across the country by election officials and law enforcement to prepare for scenarios that may impact our elections.

These TTXs have historically been closed to press, until CLYDE, in partnership with the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office, brought dozens of state and national reporters to participate in a TTX designed for them. The exercise allowed journalists to step into election officials’ shoes and battle AI-driven misinformation, deepfakes, and other election crises.


attended the first-ever election security and AI TTX for media


Simulated election security scenarios participants faced


original & syndicated

Arizona Secretary of State Adrian Fontes watches a deepfake of himself welcome participants to the exercise. AI Fontes spoke three lanugages fluently and warned participants to not believe everything they see or hear.

Photo by Jen Fifield/Votebeat.


While election officials prepare rigorously to face threats to our democracy, the media hasn’t had the opportunity to see or experience TTXs firsthand. Considering the important role journalists play in ensuring voters receive accurate and truthful information, CLYDE and the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office organized an event for media to receive the same training as election officials; an opportunity to learn how to recognize and respond to misinformation and generative AI schemes.  


The partnership culminated in a one-day exercise for journalists based on real scenarios completed by election officials. CLYDE helped develop new simulated AI-driven threats, along with everyday logistical challenges that election officials continue to face, to give reporters a sense of what it’s like to run an election leading up to, during, and after Election Day. CLYDE worked with experts to prepare training, orientation, and take-away materials driving home the event’s key messages: Arizona election officials are preparing to face difficult election challenges, and feel confident that the 2024 election will be secure and trustworthy.


CLYDE secured attendance from over 30 members of the media for the in-person exercise, including local and national print, radio, and broadcast media, with high-level print and TV coverage in Arizona and nationwide. Through both their own participation and coverage of the event, reporters learned firsthand not just about AI-driven disinformation, but how these new threats compound the long-standing logistical challenges of election administration.

Media also praised the source-building and learning opportunities provided by the election officials and security experts who facilitated the exercise. The final exercise fulfilled a yearslong goal of former reporter and Arizona Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Murphy Hebert to bring the media into the process of election preparedness through a special TTX.


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