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State prosecutors say Mowers voting in two 2016 presidential primaries was legal under New Hampshire law

Josh Rogers | NHPR

The New Hampshire Department of Justice says Matt Mowers, a Republican congressional candidate in the state’s 1st District, acted in compliance with state law when he voted in New Hampshire’s 2016 presidential primary before voting again four months later in the presidential primary in his native state of New Jersey.

Mowers, 32, now lives in Gilford, but in 2016, resided in Manchester while working as a campaign aide for former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie during his failed presidential bid. Later, Mowers took a position based out of the New York campaign office of former President Donald Trump.

Prosecutors opened an inquiry of Mowers’ voting record after the Associated Press reported on it earlier this year.

“We conclude, based on a review of extensive documentary evidence, that you established domicile in New Hampshire for voting purposes during the time in which you voted here,” wrote Myles B. Matteson, deputy counsel for the state Attorney General’s Office, in a letter released Thursday to Mowers.

“We also conclude that your 2016 votes in the presidential primaries in New Hampshire and New Jersey do not constitute a violation of New Hampshire election law as you established domicile in New Jersey prior to voting there.”

Mowers was his party’s 2020 nominee in New Hampshire’s 1st Congressional District.

His voting record never came up in that race, when Mowers largely ran on his endorsement by Trump. Democratic incumbent Chris Pappas beat Mowers by five points.

Mowers is now vying for a rematch in a crowded Republican primary where “election integrity” is a key issue.

Mowers had, from the start, maintained he did nothing wrong by voting in two different presidential primaries. The attorney general’s office review of the matter was limited to New Hampshire laws.

Critics of Mowers conduct also point to a federal statute that bars "voting more than once" in "any general, special, or primary election," but the Associated Press reported that the statute of limitations on that law has expired and that there is no record of anyone being prosecuted for violating it.

Josh has worked at NHPR since 2000.
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