For Immediate Release
September 23, 2022
Michael S. Garrity, Director of Communications
firstname.lastname@example.org | (603) 931-9375
Anne M. Edwards, Associate Attorney General
Attorney General's Office – Election Law Unit
Anne.M.Edwards@doj.nh.gov | (603) 271-1264
Concord, NH – On September 23, 2022, New Hampshire Attorney General John M. Formella issued a cease and desist order to the New Hampshire Democratic Party related to absentee ballot application mailers it published and delivered to New Hampshire voters. Some of the concerns raised about these mailers are that the mailer states, "You have a history of requesting absentee ballots" when the voter has not voted by absentee ballot in the past, the voter's domicile address is listed as a town or city in which they do not live, the return envelopes are addressed to "[County Name] Board of Elections" which are entities that do not exist, and the return envelopes have incorrect addresses for the Clerks.
This erroneous information involves 39 towns and cities and affects 926 voters. Information was provided to the Secretary of State's Office and the Attorney General's Office by Town Clerks and concerned voters.
The NHDP's mailer, with incorrect return mail addresses and voter domicile information, is causing voter confusion and frustration. The return mail addresses on the mailer are likely to mislead voters into unintentionally violate RSA 657:6. It could also disenfranchise some voters in that voters may complete the absentee ballot applications, believing they will receive absentee ballots for the State General Election, only to discover that their applications were never delivered to their Town or City Clerks. This discovery could be made at a time when the voters are not able to file follow-up applications for absentee ballots.
Additionally, given the already heavy burden on Clerks' offices around the state, Clerks have limited resources to determine which town or city the forms used by voters should be forwarded to. However, after ensuring that the forms are delivered to the correct town or city, we will instruct Clerks to accept these absentee ballot applications despite not being correctly addressed and directed to their offices.
The NHDP has been ordered to provide the Attorney General's Office with a remediation plan, by Tuesday, September 27, for how it will contact affected voters and assist them in correcting any absentee ballot applications they have submitted. The NHDP is also ordered to provide status updates on its efforts under the remediation plan.
The Attorney General's Office thanks the public and the State's election officials for their diligent review of the political mailers they have received during this general election cycle and for the numerous contacts providing it with copies of the NHDP's mailers. Attorney General Formella requests that the public continue to provide information regarding political advertising and mailers they find concerning. Please provide those copies and emails, including the date when a mailer is received, to our email address: email@example.com
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New Hampshire Department of Justice
33 Capitol Street | Concord, NH | 03301