Tuesday, September 20, 2005

I have a few problems with the new West Virginia electioneering communications bill:
distribute a flyer, go to jail.
(k)(m) No person may place any letter, circular, flyer, advertisement, election paraphernalia, solicitation material or other printed or published item tending to influence voting at any election in a roadside receptacle unless it is: (1) Approved for placement into a roadside receptacle by the business or entity owning the receptacle; and (2) contains a written acknowledgment of the approval. This subdivision does not apply to any printed material contained in a newspaper or periodical published or distributed by the owner of the receptacle. The term "roadside receptacle" means any container placed by a newspaper or periodical business or entity to facilitate home or personal delivery of a designated newspaper or periodical to its customers.
(l)(n) Any person violating any provision of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than one thousand dollars, or confined in a regional or county jail for not more than one year, or, in the discretion of the court, be subject to both fine and confinement.

OK, this seems to be part of the existing law, not the new amendments.
ยง3-8-12. Additional acts forbidden; circulation of written matter; newspaper advertising; solicitation of contributions; intimidation and coercion of employees; promise of employment or other benefits; limitations on contributions; public contractors; penalty.
(a) No person may publish, issue or circulate, or cause to be published, issued or circulated, any anonymous letter, circular, placard, radio or television advertisement or other publication expressly advocating the election or defeat of a clearly identified candidate.
(b) No owner, publisher, editor or employee of a newspaper or other periodical may insert, either in its advertising or reading columns, any matter, paid for or to be paid for, which tends to influence the voting at any election, unless directly designating it as a paid advertisement and stating the name of the person authorizing its publication and the candidate in whose behalf it is published.

d) In each electioneering communication, a statement shall appear or be presented in a clear and conspicuous manner that:
(1) Clearly indicates that the electioneering communication is not authorized by the candidate or the candidate's campaign committee; and
(2) Clearly identifies the person making the expenditure for the electioneering communication.

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