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Berlin Businesses Told Election Day 'I Voted' Raffle Illegal

Jamelah E./Flickr

Two Berlin businesses are cancelling an Election Day-related raffle after learning the drawing violates state law.

Scene Street, a consignment shop, and Tech Pro, a computer repair store, each planned to give anyone who entered wearing an “I Voted” sticker on Election Day a raffle ticket for various prizes.

The State Attorney General, however, ordered the businesses to cancel the promotions, citing a 1973 law that prohibits using items of value to encourage a vote.

“You can’t induce somebody’s action to vote, so regardless of whether it is for a candidate or not for a candidate, if it is being offered in exchange for any vote, whatsoever, it is against the law,” says Assistant Attorney General Matthew Broadhead, who works in the Election Law unit.

The owner of Tech Pro, Richard Mattos, is a candidate for Mayor in Berlin. Broadhead says that “factored in” to the AG’s decision to issue a cease-and-desist order.

Mattos didn’t respond to a request for comment. Both businesses are adhering to the order to cancel their respective raffles.

Todd started as a news correspondent with NHPR in 2009. He spent nearly a decade in the non-profit world, working with international development agencies and anti-poverty groups. He holds a master’s degree in public administration from Columbia University.

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