Hoax Election Email Brings Felony Charges
New Hampshire man said candidate had dropped from race
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 22, 2015 5:24 PM CDT
File photo of voting booths in New Hampshire.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

(Newser) – A few days before a special election for a New Hampshire House seat, reporters received an official-looking news release via email informing them that one of the candidates was dropping out. This turned out to be news to the candidate herself, who was doing no such thing. Now a 28-year-old man has admitted to what he calls the "prank" against 19-year-old Republican Yvonne Dean-Bailey. The state attorney general, however, has another word for it: felony. Carl Gibson has been charged with voter suppression, reports the Union Leader, an offense that carries a seven-year sentence.

Before the charges were filed, Gibson told the Concord Monitor that he "probably had one too many beers" before sending out the email. Technicians were easily able to trace it back to him. “When you’re trying to trick someone and fraudulently issuing out information in an effort to get people to forgo a fundamental right, I think that’s a big deal,” says an assistant attorney general. Gibson had previously worked for the Democratic candidate in the race as a volunteer, but he got the boot about a month before his email stunt over a disagreement about tweets he was sending out. The all-important final detail: Dean-Bailey, the candidate he tried to defeat, easily won Tuesday's election. (Sometimes it's the voters themselves caught in shady election behavior.)