News & Politics

Obama Campaign Accuses Clinton of Disenfranchising Nevada Voters

The campaign calls on state Democratic party to investigate
Barrack Obama's campaign has called on the Nevada Democratic Party to investigate electioneering tactics by the Hillary Clinton's campaign that it says willfully disenfranchised voters in Saturday's Nevada Caucus. The campaign is not seeking to challenge the results, where the Clinton campaign won the popular vote count among caucus attendees but Obama won one more delegate.

The Obama campaign said the Clinton campaign gave its precinct captains guidebooks that told them to close the doors to caucuses a half hour early. It also said Clinton campaign workers blocked Obama voters from signing in at the caucus, and that ballot cards given to attendees were pre-marked for Clinton.

"It is not illegal unless they [the temporary precinct chair] tell you so," said one Clinton campaign document cited in the letter by Obama campaign attorney, Bob Bauer, one of the country's top election lawyers.

On Sunday, the Obama campaign's Nevada State Director David Cohen and Bauer announced they had 300 complaints, or election incident reports, concerning the caucus. By Wednesday, that number had grown to more than 1,000 complaints, his letter to Nevada State Democratic Chair Jill Derby said.

Bauer said Clinton campaign officials following the campaign's manual successfully convinced party officials to close the caucus doors at numerous locations across the state, but neither he nor Cohen could estimate the number of impacted voters.

Earlier Sunday, Obama campaign manager David Plouffe sent this statement to volunteers:

“We currently have reports of over 200 separate incidents of trouble at caucus sites, including doors being closed up to thirty minutes early, registration forms running out so people were turned away, and ID being requested and checked in a non-uniform fashion. This is in addition to the Clinton campaign’s efforts to confuse voters and call into question the at-large caucus sites which clearly had an affect on turnout at these locations. These kinds of Clinton campaign tactics were part of an entire week’s worth of false, divisive, attacks designed to mislead caucus-goers and discredit the caucus itself.

On Wednesday, Bauer said all these tactics showed a "willful intention to distort the process in favor of ... Senator Clinton."