Candidate campaigns may make complaints concerning alleged violations of election laws prior to, during, and after an election by calling the Attorney General Civil Bureau at (603) 271-3650 or the Elections Hotline at 1-866-868-3703. In addition, complaint forms and other information about filing a complaint can be obtained on the Department of Justice's website.
Leading up to an election, candidate campaigns may contact the following attorneys after normal business hours
(Mon. - Fri. 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.) if there is an urgent matter that needs to be reported and addressed: Assistant Attorney General Matthew Broadhead at (603) 419-0332.
On statewide election days, the New Hampshire Attorney General sends attorneys and investigators from the office to inspect polling places for compliance with New Hampshire election laws. These individuals are in contact with attorneys at the Attorney General's Office so that they can respond to issues that arise throughout any given statewide election. Candidate campaigns may make complaints concerning alleged violations of election laws prior to, during and after an election by calling the Civil Bureau at (603) 271-3650 or the Election Hotline at 1-866-868-3703.
RSA 664:2 defines "political advertising" as "any communication…which expressly or implicitly advocates the success or defeat of any party, measure or person at any election."
The term "communication" includes, but is not limited to:
Pursuant to RSA 664:14, political advertising must include:
The advertising must clearly designate the name of the candidate, party or political committee by or on whose behalf the same is published or broadcast.
In print materials, the name and addresses must be printed or written in a legible size. Pursuant to RSA 664:16, political advertisements printed in newspapers, periodicals, or billboards shall be marked at the beginning or at the end thereof "Political Advertising."
In a television advertisement, the political advertisement must:
RSA 664:14, VI requires that the advertising:
RSA 664:17 regulates the placement of political advertising.
RSA 664:14 controls the removal of political advertising.
In addition to the available criminal penalties for violating RSA chapter 664, the Legislature has established a civil penalty of up to $1,000 per violation for "removing, defacing, or destroying political advertising on private property." RSA 664:21, VI (a)-(b).
RSA 664:14-a sets forth the requirements of a prerecorded political message:
The New Hampshire definition of a push-poll is stated at RSA 664:2, XVII as:
(a) Calling voters on behalf of, in support of, or in opposition to, any candidate for public office by telephone; and
(b) Asking questions related to opposing candidates for public office which state, imply, or convey information about the candidates character, status, or political stance or record;
(c) Conducting such calling in a manner which is likely to be construed by the voter to be a survey or poll to gather statistical data for entities or organizations which are acting independent of any particular political party, candidate, or interest group.
(d) Such calls last less than 2 minutes; and
(e) Conducting such calling for purposes other than bona fide survey and opinion research. The term "Bona fide survey and opinion research'' means the collection and analysis of data regarding opinions, needs, awareness, knowledge, views, experiences, and behaviors of a population, through the development and administration of surveys, interviews, focus groups, polls, observation, or other research methodologies, in which no sales, promotional, or marketing efforts are involved, and through which there is no attempt to influence a participant's attitudes or behavior. Bona fide survey and opinion research includes message testing, which is the study for research purposes of how randomly-selected individuals react to positive or negative information on a candidate, elected public official, or ballot question.
RSA 664:16-a sets forth the requirements of a push-poll. A push-poll must:
Portable Document Format (.pdf). Visit nh.gov for a list of free .pdf readers for a variety of operating systems.
New Hampshire Department of Justice
33 Capitol Street | Concord, NH | 03301