Rhode Island Election-Disclosure Law Valid Under First Amendment

Sept. 15, 2021, 6:08 PM

A Rhode Island election-transparency law that requires issue-advocacy groups to disclose the identities of big donors on election ads is reasonably related to the state’s interest in an informed electorate and is therefore constitutional, the First Circuit said.

The law requires organizations seeking to sway public opinion to disclose to the state board of elections the names of individuals who donate more than $1,000 a year to the cause for independent expenditures that directly relate to a candidate or referendum. It requires the same disclosure for electioneering communications that identify a candidate by name within 60 days of an election. ...

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