New Hampshire Attorney General John Formella (R) issued a cease-and-desist order on Monday to the Democratic National Committee and warned Democratic officials to stop telling voters the state’s primary is “meaningless,” which Formella said violates the state’s voter suppression laws.
In the letter — addressed to DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee (RBC) co-chairs Minyon Moore and James Roosevelt Jr. — Formella took issue with their Jan. 5 letter to the New Hampshire Democratic Party (NHDP) advising the state party to “educate the public” that the state’s Jan. 23 primary is “a non-binding presidential preference event and is meaningless.”
“Regardless of whether the DNC refuses to award delegates to the party’s national convention based on the results of the January 23, 2024, New Hampshire democratic Presidential Primary Election, this New Hampshire election is not ‘meaningless,’” read the Monday letter to the DNC and RBC.
It said the DNC committee’s “statements to the contrary are false, deceptive, and misleading” and such statements made to people eligible to vote in the state “constitutes an attempt to prevent or deter New Hampshire voters from participating in the January 23, 2024, New Hampshire democratic Presidential Primary Election, in violation of RSA 659:40, III.”
The DNC changed the order of its nominating calendar this year, instructing South Carolina Democratic voters to vote for delegates on Feb. 3, before any other primary in the nation. The move booted New Hampshire from its longtime first-in-nation primary spot.
The DNC voted to support this new plan, favored by President Biden, after concerns arose about the lack of diversity in Iowa and New Hampshire — traditionally the first states to hold their contests in a presidential election year. States that vote or caucus first are largely seen as having an advantage in determining the trajectory and momentum of the race.
New Hampshire Democrats fought against this move, and New Hampshire Secretary of State David Scanlan (R) announced two months ago that the state would hold its primary on Jan. 23, in defiance of the DNC plan.
The DNC warned that the apportionment of delegates would not be based on the Jan. 23 “event.”
In the Jan. 5 letter, Moore and Roosevelt wrote, “We are aware that the Party intends to host a delegate selection process on Saturday, January 6. We advise you to inform participants that this process has not been approved by the RBC and is therefore not the approved route to become a Delegate to the National Convention, nor will it be recommended for approval by the RBC.”
In a statement to The Hill in response to the Monday letter from the state’s attorney general, the New Hampshire Democratic Party recommitted to voting in accordance with the state law, rather than with the new DNC calendar.
“Well, it’s safe to say in New Hampshire, the DNC is less popular than the NY Yankees,” the statement read. “State law requires the New Hampshire Secretary of State to conduct the first-in-the-nation primary and he is going to follow the law — period. Nothing has changed, and we look forward to seeing a great Democratic voter turnout on January 23rd.”
The DNC did not reply to an immediate request for comment.
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