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New Hampshire AG orders DNC to stop undermining state’s primary

The New Hampshire attorney general’s office has issued a cease-and-desist order to the Democratic National Committee (DNC), accusing it of unlawful voter suppression and false advertising.

The order, dated January 8, 2024, was in response to a letter that the DNC’s Rules & Bylaws Committee (RBC) sent to the New Hampshire Democratic Party (NHDP) on January 5, 2024. In the letter, the RBC instructed the NHDP to “educate the public” that the upcoming January 23, 2024, New Hampshire democratic presidential primary election is “meaningless” and that the party and the candidates should “take all steps possible not to participate.”

The RBC’s letter was part of an ongoing dispute between the DNC and the state over the date of the primary. The DNC had tried to push the state’s primary later in 2024, in an effort to move South Carolina to the front of the calendar. However, New Hampshire is required by state law to hold the first primary in the nation, setting up a clash between local officials and the national party.

The DNC has said that it will not award delegates based on the results of the New Hampshire primary, meaning the Democrat who wins the January primary won’t move any closer to winning the Democratic presidential nomination.

New Hampshire AG orders DNC to stop undermining state’s primary

However, New Hampshire Attorney General John Formella ® said that the RBC’s letter violated the state’s voter suppression laws, which prohibit any attempt to prevent or deter voters from participating in an election. He also said that the RBC’s statements were false, deceptive, and misleading, as the primary is not “meaningless” regardless of the DNC’s decision.

Formella ordered the RBC to immediately stop any conduct that violates the state’s election laws, and said that his office’s review of the RBC’s actions remains open.

The NHDP’s chair, Ray Buckley, responded to the cease-and-desist order with a sarcastic statement, saying that “it’s safe to say in New Hampshire the DNC is less popular than the New York Yankees.” He added that “nothing has changed, and we look forward to seeing a great Democratic voter turnout on January 23rd.”

The DNC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The New Hampshire primary has been a tradition since 1920, and has often been seen as a crucial test for presidential candidates. The state prides itself on its independent-minded voters and its retail politics, where candidates interact with voters face-to-face.

The DNC’s move to sideline the state has been met with criticism from both Democrats and Republicans, who see it as an attempt to undermine the state’s role and influence in the presidential race.


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