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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Limbaugh's "Operation Chaos" Under Investigation

From The Nation's Ari Melber:

"Operation Chaos," Rush Limbaugh's campaign urging Republicans to vote for Hillary Clinton in Democratic primaries, has been very effective. It doubled Republican turnout in Ohio and Texas, boosting Clinton and prolonging the Democratic race. But in Ohio, it was also almost certainly illegal.

Ohio law requires that citizens genuinely support a political party in order to vote in its primary. To change parties for a primary, a citizen must pledge, under the penalty of election falsification, that she is affiliated with the party and "supports" its principles. Lying on the pledge is a felony, punishable by up to a year in jail and a $2,500 fine. The law also stipulates that poll workers have a "duty" to challenge voters who are "not a member of the political party whose ballot the person desires to vote."

In Cuyahoga, Ohio's largest county, 16,000 Republicans switched parties for the primary last month. Several did so in bad faith, without truly changing parties, according to newspaper interviews and Internet postings. The Cuyahoga Board of Elections recently voted to investigate the matter; a report is expected on March 31. Despite the massive crossover voting, however, prosecutions are considered unlikely. A spokesperson for Ohio's Attorney General told Alternet that it is "very hard to prosecute" crossover voting cases, since the crime depends on proving a voter's motive on Election Day.

Limbaugh's motives, however, have been perfectly clear from the start. "I'm asking people to cross over, and if they can stomach it and I know it's a difficult thing to do, vote for Clinton," Limbaugh said before the Ohio primary. The goal, he explained, was to ensure Barack Obama was "bloodied up politically" and to extend the Democratic primary "soap opera."

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Anonymous said...

So since Limbaugh's motive in encouraging voter fraud is clear, the question is whether there is any Ohio law or federal law that makes illegal to encourage voter fraud? If there is such a law, then Limbaugh's own transcripts from his radio program should be sufficient to support a conviction.

DPolitico said...

Dan Abrams talked about prosecuting Limbaugh on MSNBC last night and they suggested an "aiding and abetting" charge.

Limbaugh says they have operatives in Pennsylvania working to do the same thing: register republican and vote for Hillary.