March 3, 2016

83,000+ People Demand Mass. AG Arrest Bill Clinton Over Electioneering Incident

During Massachusetts’ extremely close primary on Tuesday, questions were raised about Bill Clinton potentially violating the Bay State’s election law. Clinton was in the state to campaign for his wife, and many felt he stepped over the line by taking that campaigning into an actual polling place:

“A video clip showing Bill Clinton shaking hands with election clerks at Holy Name, alongside Mayor Martin J. Walsh, had some people on Twitter questioning the former president’s appearance indoors. ‘Aren’t there rules about electioneering at the polling location?’ one person wrote on Twitter, after seeing the video. ‘How is this legal?’ a second person asked on social media.”

Clinton also allegedly broke the law by pushing his wife’s candidacy within 150 feet of the polling place:

Videos and photos show that Clinton was close to the entrance of the polling place at a building in Buttonwoood Park as he thanked people for voting — and for supporting his wife, Hillary, who is seeking the Democratic nomination. ‘Thank you all for participating. I especially thank those of you who are supporting Hillary,’ Clinton yelled through a megaphone, as he stood next to New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell. Clinton spoke for several minutes, with his speech, at times, being interrupted by protesters.”

Clinton’s behavior was so egregious that Massachusetts Secretary of State William Galvin reached out to the Clinton campaign:

“The incidents prompted Galvin’s office to reach out to Hillary Clinton’s campaign and remind them of the rules barring solicitation of votes near polling places… Galvin said that his office was ‘annoyed’ that Clinton addressed hundreds of people during an ‘ad hoc’ rally near a polling place, after his wife’s campaign had already been contacted several times.”

Yet for tens of thousands of grassroots activists, Galvin’s action is not enough. A petition on Change.org has since taken off calling on Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey to “arrest and prosecute” Bill Clinton with a “3rd degree Voter Violation Felony.” That petition now has 83,160 supporters.