TITLE LXIII
ELECTIONS

CHAPTER 664
POLITICAL EXPENDITURES AND CONTRIBUTIONS

General Provisions

Section 664:2

    664:2 Definitions. –
As used in this chapter:
I. "Election" means any general biennial or special election, political party primary, or presidential preference primary as provided in RSA 664:1.
II. "Candidate" means any person publicly declared as such and for whom votes are sought in an election.
III. "Political committee" means:
(a) Any organization of 2 or more persons that promotes the success or defeat of a candidate or candidates or measure or measures, including the political committee of a political party;
(b) Any segregated fund established by any organization the purpose of which is to promote the success or defeat of a candidate or candidates or measure or measures;
(c) Any organization that has as its major purpose to promote the success or defeat of a candidate or candidates or measure or measures and whose receipts or expenditures total $2,500 or more in a calendar year for that purpose;
(d) Any organization that does not have as its major purpose to promote the success or defeat of a candidate or candidates or measure or measures but that makes expenditures that total $5,000 or more in a calendar year; or
(e) Any segregated fund that is voluntarily registered with the secretary of state for the purpose of reporting its receipts and expenditures under this chapter or any organization that voluntarily registers with the secretary of state, without regard to whether such segregated fund or organization meets the receipt or expenditure thresholds described in this paragraph.
As used in this paragraph, "organization" includes, but is not limited to, one or more natural persons; entities formed under state law, except those entities qualified under section 501(c)(3) of the United States Internal Revenue Code of 1986; committees formed by a candidate, exploratory campaign, or political party; and any other association of natural persons or entities formed under state law that is not registered as a business entity.
IV. "Political party" or "party" means any political organization or number of persons which can nominate candidates in any manner prescribed by law and has done so for the current election. The definition of the word "party" contained in RSA 652:11 shall not apply to this chapter.
V. "Political committee of a political party" means a state, county, regional, city, ward, or town committee of a political party. A regional committee shall be composed only of members who are residents of towns or cities that form a contiguous land area, and shall have been created and approved by the state committee of the political party. To establish regional committees, a party shall amend its by-laws to authorize them in principle; a copy of the by-law authorization and evidence of the approval for each regional committee by the state committee shall be filed by the political party with the secretary of state before the first Wednesday in June of that year.
VI. "Political advertising" means any communication, including buttons or printed material attached to motor vehicles, which expressly or implicitly advocates the success or defeat of any party, measure or person at any election.
VII. "Communication" shall include, but not be limited to, publication in any newspaper or other periodical or on any Internet site, broadcasting on radio, television, or over any public address system, transmission by telephone or facsimile, placement on any billboards, outdoor facilities, window displays, posters, cards, pamphlets, leaflets, flyers, or other circulars, or in any direct mailing.
VIII. "Contribution" shall mean a payment, gift, subscription, assessment, contract, payment for services, dues advance, forbearance or loan to a candidate or political committee made for the purpose of influencing the nomination or election of any candidate. "Contributions" shall include the use of any thing of value but shall not include the services of volunteers who receive no pay therefor or the use of personal resources by a candidate on behalf of his or her candidacy. Contributions may be used by candidates for expenses incurred by a candidate for child care.
IX. "Expenditure" shall mean the disbursement of money or thing of value or the making of a legally binding commitment to make such a disbursement in the future or the transfer of funds by a political committee to another political committee or to a candidate for the purpose of promoting the success or defeat of a candidate or candidates or measure or measures. "Expenditures" includes disbursements constituting independent expenditures, as defined in paragraph XI, and expenses incurred by a candidate for child care. It does not include:
(a) The candidate's filing fee or his or her expenses for personal travel and subsistence;
(b) Activity designed to encourage individuals to register to vote or to vote, if that activity or communication does not mention a clearly identified candidate;
(c) Any communication by any membership organization or corporation to its members or stockholders, if the primary purpose of that membership organization or corporation is not for the purpose of promoting the success or defeat of a candidate or candidates and measure or measures; or
(d) Any communication by any political committee member that is not made for the purpose of promoting the success or defeat of a candidate or candidates or measure or measures.
X. "Measure" shall mean any constitutional amendment or question which is submitted or intended to be submitted to a popular vote at an election.
XI. "Independent expenditures" means expenditures that pay for the development and distribution of a communication that expressly advocates the election or defeat of a clearly identified candidate or candidates or the success or defeat of a measure or measures, which are made without cooperation or consultation with any candidate, or any authorized committee or agent of such candidate, and which are not made in concert with, or at the request or suggestion of, any candidate, or any authorized committee or agent of such candidate.
XII. "Full name" means an individual's full first name, middle name or initial, if any, and full legal last name, making the identity of the contributor apparent by unambiguous reference.
XIII. "Post office address" means an individual's principal place of residence and shall include a street and post office box, if any, city, state and zip code. "Post office address" shall not mean:
(a) An individual's business address.
(b) An individual's vacation home address or rental property address when the home or rental property is owned, but not occupied by the contributor.
(c) Any address not that of the contributor.
XIV. "Occupation" means an individual's official job title resulting from employment at or ownership of any agency or organization or other entity.
XV. "Principal place of business" means the primary organization or employer from which an individual derives his or her principal income and shall include the employer's official name and the employer's post office address.
XVI. "Business organization" means any enterprise, whether corporation, partnership, limited liability company, proprietorship, association, business trust, real estate trust or other form of organization, organized for gain or profit, and includes any enterprise which is expressly made exempt from income taxation under the United States Internal Revenue Code of 1986. It does not include a political committee as defined in RSA 664:2, III, or the political committee of a political party, as defined in RSA 664:2, V.
XVII. "Push-polling" means:
(a) Calling voters on behalf of, in support of, or in opposition to, any candidate for public office by telephone; and
(b) Asking questions related to opposing candidates for public office which state, imply, or convey information about the candidates character, status, or political stance or record; and
(c) Conducting such calling in a manner which is likely to be construed by the voter to be a survey or poll to gather statistical data for entities or organizations which are acting independent of any particular political party, candidate, or interest group as part of a series of like telephone calls that consist of more than 2,000 connected calls that last less than 2 minutes in presidential, gubernatorial, United States senatorial, or United States congressional elections; or conducting such calling as part of a series of like telephone calls that consist of more than 500 connected calls that last less than 2 minutes in executive council, state senate, city, town, school district, or village district elections; or conducting such calling as part of a series of like telephone calls that consist of more than 200 connected calls that last less than 2 minutes in state representative elections; and
(d) Conducting such calling for purposes other than bona fide survey and opinion research.
XVIII. "Bona fide survey and opinion research" means the collection and analysis of data regarding opinions, needs, awareness, knowledge, views, experiences, and behaviors of a population, through the development and administration of surveys, interviews, focus groups, polls, observation, or other research methodologies, in which no sales, promotional, or marketing efforts are involved, and through which there is no attempt to influence a participant's attitudes or behavior. Bona fide survey and opinion research includes message testing, which is the study for research purposes of how randomly-selected individuals react to positive or negative information on a candidate, elected public official, or ballot question.
XIX. "Receipts" shall mean the receipt of money or thing of value or the receipt of a legally binding commitment to receive money or thing of value in the future for the purpose of promoting the success or defeat of a candidate or candidates or a measure or measures. Receipts shall not include amounts received by a political committee in commercial transactions in the ordinary course of any trade or business conducted by the political committee or in the form of investments in the political committee or amounts received by the political committee from payors who, at the time of payment, prohibited, in writing, the use of the payment as an expenditure.
XX. "Segregated fund" shall mean a segregated account of money that consists of funds that were paid directly to such account by persons other than the covered political committee that controls the account from which only expenditures defined in paragraph IX are made.
XXI. "Clearly identified candidate" means that the name of the candidate involved appears; a photograph or drawing of the candidate appears; or the identity of the candidate is otherwise apparent.
XXII. "Political advocacy organization" means any entity that spends $5,000 or more in a calendar year to pay for a communication that is functionally equivalent to express advocacy because, when taken as a whole, such communication is likely to be interpreted by a reasonable person only as advocating the election or defeat of a clearly identified candidate or candidates or the success or defeat of a measure or measures, taking into account whether the communication involved mentions a candidacy or a political party, or takes a position on a candidate's character, qualifications, or fitness for office.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1982, 27:1, 2. 1983, 366:1. 1991, 387:9, 10. 1994, 8:1; 216:1. 1998, 12:2. 2004, 72:1. 2007, 143:1. 2009, 50:1. 2014, 6:1, 2, eff. April 23, 2014; 279:1-4 eff. July 28, 2014. 2019, 334:1, 2, eff. Oct. 15, 2019.