On Friday, New Hampshire Attorney General John Formella (D) issued a cease and desist order to the New Hampshire Democratic Party (NHDP) over political mailers that allegedly contained misleading information about voting by mail.
The mailings sent to prospective voters contained the incorrect address information for multiple city clerks which caused “voter confusion and frustration” for voters, according to JustTheNews.
The mailings included pre-paid and pre-addressed envelopes for voters to return their absentee ballot applications. The addresses, however, had errors in the Kingston and East Kingston townships.
“I confirmed that the issue our Office was aware of involved Kingston and East Kingston where the return envelopes had the Post Office Box for the East Kingston Town Clerk but had the town of Kingston's name and its zip code,” Formella wrote, adding, “It appears these envelopes were supposed to be returned to the Kingston Town Clerk, but the address is not correct.”
The order went on to explain that the AG's office had been contacted by multiple voters about issues with the mailings: “Some of the concerns raised by these voters 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.”
Given the many issues with the political mailings in the Democrats' haste to try to get voters out to the polls, the attorney general stated that such errors could violate election law.
“The return mail addresses on the mailer are likely to mislead voters into intentionally violating [state law],” the New Hampshire official wrote. “It could also disenfranchise some voters in that voters may complete absentee ballot applications believing that they will receive ballots for the general election, only to discover that their applications were never delivered to their town or city clerks.”
Given the reckless nature of the mailings that have likely misled and disenfranchised voters, Formella ordered that the Democrats immediately halt the distribution of the mailings.
“In light of our conclusion that the NHDP has caused voter confusion,” the AG began, adding, “the NHDP is hereby ordered to CEASE AND DESIST any and all activities which violate the law by causing voter confusion in the future.”
“Furthermore, the NHDP shall CEASE AND DESIST from publishing any other absentee ballot application mailers for the 2022 election cycle unless they are accurate and include accurate return mail addresses and voter domicile information.”
The NHDP has until September 27 to submit a written plea to the attorney general's office explaining how they will comply with the order.
This halting of political mailings for Democrats will likely hamper their campaigning efforts in the last few weeks before the midterm elections.
Don Bolduc (R) is running against incumbent Sen. Maggie Hassan (D) for the Senate. Polling accumulated by FiveThirtyEight has indicated that Hassan is up nearly eight points on Bolduc, however, polling for New Hampshire's first and second congressional districts is much closer with seven and three-point lead for Democrats, respectively.
Republicans might have a chance in New Hampshire thanks to the Democrats' incompetence and haste. It's no surprise that their campaigning is just as messy as their governing.
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