NEWS25 April 2014

New Hampshire lifts research restrictions

Government News North America

US — New Hampshire governor Maggie Hassan has signed a bill lifting restrictions on legitimate opinion research.

Previously, New Hampshire law required anyone engaging in push-polling – described by the Marketing Research Association (MRA) as a form of political campaign messaging fraudulently disguised as polling – to disclose the sponsor of the call to the recipient. But the scope of the term was so broad as to incorporate most polls, including legitimate research calls and objective opinion polls.

The MRA and the American Association for Political Consultants (AAPC) put pressure on New Hampshire to amend the law so as to limit restrictions on legitimate research. The bill, signed this week, has redefined push polling.

“This was a bipartisan effort to make our law clear and easy to understand for everyone,” said Senator David Pierce, one of the sponsors of the bill. “We want to catch bad actors but also make sure that real opinion research can take place in New Hampshire.

“Now, the attorney general will have an easy way to quickly identify those who are truly trying to sway elections with deceitful methods and distinguish them from legitimate polling organisations.”

More information can be found on the MRA website.