New HampshireDepartment of JusticeOffice of the Attorney General

News Release

For Immediate Release
October 18, 2022

Michael S. Garrity, Director of Communications | (603) 931-9375

Myles B. Matteson, Deputy General Counsel
Attorney General's Office Election Law Unit | (603) 271-1119

Political Advertising and Political Signs

Concord, NH – Political advertising and political signs are one of the treasured traditions of New Hampshire elections. They are also a physical expression of people's First Amendment right of free speech. With the General Election upcoming on November 8, 2022, Attorney General John M. Formella is releasing the following information regarding political advertising and political signs to assist the public in understanding the election laws related to political advertising and political signs:

Removing, defacing, or destroy political advertising without consent is a crime, and individuals also may be subject to a civil penalty of up to $1,000. See RSA 664:17 and 664:21.

Political advertising may not be placed on public property but may be placed in a state right-of-way if the private property owner gives permission. Private property owners may remove signs on their property, even if they are in a state right-of-way. In addition to owners of the property, persons authorized by the owner of the property, or a law enforcement officer may remove advertising placed without permission. Political advertising on any public property may be removed by state, city, or town maintenance or law enforcement personnel. See RSA 664:17.

Political communications and political signs— "express advocacy" communications—are required to have information identifying the person or entity responsible for the advertising, known as "paid-for" disclaimers, under New Hampshire law. New Hampshire RSA 664:14 requires that all political advertising must be signed with the name and physical or mailing address of a person responsible for the advertising.

  • For groups, committees, or entities, the statute requires that an individual be named along with the entity responsible. Under RSA 664:14, II, the "name of the enterprise or organization shall be indicated, and the chairman or treasurer of the enterprise or organization shall sign his name and address."
  • An Internet address for a website is acceptable as long as the website immediately and prominently displays all of the disclaimer information required. That is, it must clearly identify the name of a contact person for the person responsible or the group responsible for the advertising and a physical or mailing address where the contact person can be located.
  • Paid-for disclaimers are required for advertising that is considered "express advocacy," which means communications that expressly advocate for or against a candidate or ballot measure at an election. Courts have also held that, even if the advertising does not say "vote for" or "vote against" a certain candidate, if the only reasonable interpretation of the communication is as an appeal to vote for or against a specific candidate, then it is express advocacy. As a result, in general, when a communication mentions elections, candidates, or political parties, it must include a paid-for disclaimer. See RSA 664:14

The Attorney General's Office welcomes information from the public regarding political advertising they find concerning due to lack of paid-for disclaimers. Please provide copies of the communications and the dates when received to our email address:

New Hampshire Department of Justice
1 Granite Place South | Concord, NH | 03301
Telephone: 603-271-3658