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West Virginia secretary of state to enforce ban on anonymous campaign ads


Charleston Gazette-Mail

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia Secretary of State Mac Warner plans to enforce a state law that bars anonymous campaign mailers, even though Attorney General Patrick Morrisey has called the law unconstitutional, Warner’s office said Wednesday.

Mac Warner, W.Va. Secretary of State

The state law aims to rein-in anonymous political attack ads.

“Secretary Warner is committed to enforcing all election laws as directed by the West Virginia Legislature,” said Steven Allen Adams, a Warner spokesman. “Until the House of Delegates and the Senate amend the law through the legislative process, or the law is challenged in court and we’re directed otherwise by the judicial system, we will continue to recognize state law.”

Last year, Warner wrote to Morrisey’s office, asking the attorney general to assess whether the ban on anonymous campaign materials violated the First Amendment right to free speech.

In October, Morrisey’s office concluded that the campaign transparency law is unconstitutionally “over-broad” and unenforceable.

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