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Sanders Voter Primary Lawsuits and Actions Proliferate Across Nation

Updated on April 8, 2016
Clinton walking into MA polling station during voting hours.
Clinton walking into MA polling station during voting hours.

Weeks after the primary results in three critical states have been certified, voters, a state official, and a judge have taken legal measures demanding all votes be fully counted. In each case the result of the primary favored Hillary Clinton. The legal actions all claim that the magnitude of the possible disenfranchisement of voters could have made a significant difference in the way delegates were divided between the two Democratic primary candidates.

In Illinois, the state attorney general has blocked a judge’s order to allow people who did not get to vote in the IL primary to vote. The state AG is a Democrat who backs Clinton for president. An appellate court has granted IL Attorney General Lisa Madigan's request for a stay of a previous judge’s order, which would have allowed people who did not get a chance to vote, to vote. Many Illinois voters say that polling stations ran out of ballots and thousands of voters were denied the chance to vote. Last month Adams County attorney Jon Barnard went before a judge to ask that these people be allowed to vote, which the judge granted, before IL Attorney General Madigan asked an appellate court to reverse the order. Barnard said in a phone interview with USUncut that, had enough ballots been available, the Illinois might have gone to Sanders rather than Clinton.

In Arizona, a citizens' group AUDIT-AZ has announced a legal challenge demanding that AZ hold a re-vote on a special election day already scheduled for the summer. The group estimates that at least 150,000 voters were disenfranchised by lines and wait times for voting of up to six hours, which caused many people to give up due to work or family obligations. The worst wait times took place in Maricopa County, the home of the city of Phoenix and 60% of Arizona's population. Across the entire state, AZ officials have already admitted, many peoples' party affiliations were listed incorrectly and thus were denied the chance to vote in the primary that they had signed up for.

Lines of voters waiting to vote in AZ

And in Massachusetts, widespread complaints of Bill Clinton illegally campaigning in and near polling stations has resulted in the formation of MA Voters and Volunteers Disenfranchised by Bill Clinton, which filed a lawsuit alleging that Clinton's extensive illegal campaigning that day affected the MA primary results. With a razor-thin margin of victory of 1.4%, the lawsuit alleges that Bill Clinton knew full well where to apply his presence, which also resulted in blocked polling stations and people being denied a chance to vote. MA law, similar to every other state, stipulates that candidates or supporters cannot even hold a sign within 150 feet of a polling station. In one video Bill Clinton can be seen speaking to a crowd in the same spot from where Bernie Sanders supporters had just been ejected, because they were holding signs within the 150 foot legal boundary. NBC News reported that the election in MA was "neck and neck," with Sanders having the lead at one point.

Sanders campaigners being told to move away from spot where Bil Clinton later campaigns

(Disclosure: The author is a supporter of MA Sanders Voters and Volunteers Disenfranchised by Bill Clinton)


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