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News Release

For Immediate Release
July 18, 2013

Anne Edwards, Associate Attorney General
(603) 419-9538

Attorney General Appeals Court Order Finding That Federal Election Laws Preempt New Hampshire's Right to Regulate Election of Federal Officials

New Hampshire Attorney General Joseph A. Foster announced that the State will appeal a Superior Court order that prohibits New Hampshire election officials from enforcing certain state laws regulating the election of federal officials. On June 17, 2013, the Merrimack County Superior Court issued an order finding that the Federal Election Campaign Act ("FECA") preempts New Hampshire's regulation of push polls by candidates for federal office. The Superior Court's order concludes that because FECA regulates disclosures associated with campaign expenditures, and federal candidates who engage in push polling must expend funds in order to conduct such polls, New Hampshire's law is not enforceable.

Attorney General Joseph Foster explained that the decision to appeal to the New Hampshire Supreme Court was made in order to protect New Hampshire's right to govern its own elections. "I understand that the Legislature has been reviewing the statute which regulates push polls to see if amendments would help clarify and enhance compliance. This appeal is being filed in order to preserve the right of New Hampshire to govern how its citizens elect their federal officials."

The Attorney General said that the Superior Court's order could have broad implication regarding the regulation of federal elections, since most activities conducted by federal candidates result in the expenditure of campaign funds. The Attorney General concluded: "Under an expansive reading of the Superior Court's order, there could be little room left for State election officials to regulate in the case of candidates for federal office.

A link to a copy of the Notice of Appeal is below.

Notice of Appeal - Michael A. Delaney, Attorney General, State of New Hampshire v. Bass Victory Committee Adobe Acrobat Reader Symbol

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New Hampshire Department of Justice | 33 Capitol Street | Concord, NH | 03301
Telephone: 603-271-3658