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Sunday, January 20, 2008

The Clinton Machine Disenfranchises Americans on Path to the White House

Case #1: Clinton Caucus Chairs Shut Out Caucus-Goers

The Politico reports that the Clinton campaign instructed their people to close the doors to the caucus at 11:30am and they did. The Hillary campaign’s handbook stated (p. 7):

11:30: Deadline for registering (or standing in line to register) to participate in the caucus.

In the Room

11:30: Caucus chair closes doors and announces attendance.

The official Nevada Democratic Party handbook though says that people can enter up until noon. The Nevada Democratic Party’s handbook says (p. 8):

THIS PROCESS MAY NOT BEGIN UNTIL NOON

In order to participate in the Nevada State Democratic Party Caucuses, attendees MUST be in line, or signed in, by noon. At noon, Presidential Preference Cards should be given to any person in line, and after that point, no Presidential Preference Cards should be given to any new arrivals, as they will not be allowed to caucus.

An Andrew Sullivan reader wrote:

The doors officially opened at 11 a.m., but by 10 a.m. Clinton voters swarmed the place. They had been told to arrive early because there were not going to be enough ballots to go around for everyone; thus, first come first served. By the time 11:20 rolled around Clinton organizers were shutting the doors even though this was not supposed to happen until noon. Samuel ran back and forth from his precinct to the door trying to make sure it stayed open and, thus, started the war of words between him and the Clinton people. Cheating followed. Obama supporters were told that there were no more ballots even though extras were around. Clinton voters were counted more than once in differing precincts. Temp chairs refused to register Obama voters. Undecided voters got their preference box marked for them as “Clinton” by Clinton people even though the undecided did not express a preference for the Senator. Overall, the four precincts were taken advantage of by the Clinton team because everything was so disorganized.

Case #2: Other Nevada Caucus Day Irregularities

A DailyKos blogger who attended a caucus has tracked several cases of voting irregularities. The Obama campaign has received over 200 complaints about voting irregularities. For example, one caucus-goer wrote:

At least one report of a voter registration list only in Spanish, and only with Hillary supporters on it. Obama supporters later found the registration list with the rest of the people–in the garbage can of the ladies restroom.

Case #3: Clinton Machine Attempted to Suppress Votes of Culinary Union Workers in Nevada

A group of Nevada teachers wrote:

These at-large locations were approved back in March of 2007, and no one raised any concerns about them for nearly a year. But now, our union is filing a lawsuit making the baseless charge that these at-large caucus locations are discriminatory, when the fact is they were set up to make sure as many Nevadans could caucus as possible.

This lawsuit is all about politics. It’s widely known that many of our union’s top officials support Senator Clinton and now that the Culinary Workers Union has endorsed Senator Obama, they’re using our union to stop Nevadans from caucusing for Senator Obama.

Case #4: Clinton Officials Suppressed the Vote in New Hampshire

The Clinton campaign hindered get-out-the-vote efforts in New Hampshire by misleading people about the law. The Washington Post reported:

Lasky was also involved in the attempt by Clinton officials to remove Obama volunteers who had been sent to many polling places on primary day to check off the names of voters as they arrived so that the campaign’s get out the vote workers would know which of their supporters had and hadn’t voted. Clinton volunteers and local lawyers acting on behalf of the campaign demanded in Nashua, Concord and at least one other town that poll moderators ban the Obama volunteers from the polls, saying that their presence violated a state law stating that only the state party chairmen can delegate people to monitor the polls.

The Obama campaign countered that that law applied only to monitors who are at the polls to challenge potentially invalid voters, a practice that is usually limited to general elections and which their volunteers were not engaged in. The attorney general and Nashua city clerk confirmed this when they were called about the dispute, saying that the Obama volunteers were allowed as members of the public to observe the polls, as long as they didn’t get in the way.

But the Clinton intervention at Ward 9 in Nashua nonetheless persuaded the moderator to ban the Obama observers. And the disputes, which dragged on for hours and grew quite heated, generally scrambled the Obama efforts to keep track of who was and wasn’t voting, said Obama supporter Andrew Edwards, a rookie state representative assigned to observe the polls in Nashua, where Clinton ran up a big margin in her favor. Edwards was confronted by Lasky and by another veteran Democrat, state representative and Nashua Democratic chairwoman Jane Clemons, who he said issued a veiled threat during the dispute that he would face a stiff primary challenge in Nashua if he ran for reelection.

Case #5: Bill and Hillary Clinton Tried to Suppress the Student Vote in Iowa

In Iowa, the Clinton campaign actively tried to suppress the votes of Iowa students by misleading them about the law. Alternet reported:

President Bill Clinton too has gotten in on the action. Recognizing that such voting could well help Obama who has energized students on college campuses, beat his wife, Sen. Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton has discouraged such voting, telling college students to use their consciences in deciding whether or not to participate in the caucuses. But the bottom line is that voting by Iowa college students is perfectly legal, and indeed such voting could help to compensate for the otherwise anti-democratic nature of Iowa’s role in the presidential election process.

Let’s start with the law. Iowa residents can participate in the presidential caucuses, and the Iowa Code specifically provides that a “student who resides at or near the school the student attends, but who is also able to claim a residence at another location under the provisions of this section, may choose either location as the student’s residence for voter registration and voting purposes.” The state Democratic Party agrees that “[a]ny student who attends an Iowa college or university may participate in the Iowa caucuses provided they are 18 by November 4, 2008, and are a registered Democrat in the precinct in which they wish to caucus.” Indeed, before raising his charge of fraud, Yepsen conceded in his column that voting by college students is “quite legal.”

To claim to be so “experienced,” the Hillary Clinton campaign sure does have a problem correctly interpreting the law when it comes to allowing people to vote!

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