Dirty Tricks by the Obama campaign in Texas and Ohio

I’m receiving reports that contrary to Texas Democratic party caucus rules that preclude registration forms from being submitted before either 7:15 pm or the last vote at a precinct has been cast, Obama volunteers are handing out the forms at precincts today and asking people to fill them in and then collecting them. For Obama to submit the forms on the voters’ behalf without the voter physically being present at the caucus would violate the rules.The rules state:

Participants may NOT begin signing in until the precinct convention has been called to order. The call to order may not occur until 7:15 p.m. OR whenever the last voter finishes voting at that polling location whichever is later. If, after the convention has been called to order and participants have signed in, any participant who wishes to leave may do so, and their sign in WILL count toward the delegate allocation for each candidate. Sign-In ends when the last person present waiting to sign in has done so.

If any Texas voter has witnessed this, feel free to let me know. More on the rules and some disturbing reports from Ohio below:

In Ohio, Marc Ambinder reports:

Ohio’s Secretary of State, an office held by a Democrat, has rebuked Sen. Barack Obama’s campaign for trying to staff precincts with poll workers who presented insufficient credentials. Obama’s campaign calls this charge “wrong.”

In a memo sent late this morning to county election directors by David M. Farrell, Ohio’s
Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, a letter carried by Obama supporters — signed by Obama state director Paul Tewes — is deemed “not legally sufficient on its own to allow someone to gain access to polling places.” Farrell notes that state law requires that polling observers must be “duly appointed” and have been previously issued a certificate.

Ambinder has posted the letter saying the authorization is insufficient and the authorization. The problem this can cause:

The alleged infraction seems minor, but the Clinton campaign has seized on the e-mail from the Secretary of State’s office as evidence that the Obama campaign is trying to game the system in Ohio.

Lynn Utrecht, chief campaign counsel for Sen. Hillary Clinton, said that she’d recieved reports from the field of Obama poll workers being kicked out of precincts for aggressively challenging voters. Adding it up, she said, “and it’s a pattern.”

Back to the Texas caucus rules, here’s more:

2) Attendees sign in on the roll sheets (“Exhibit A”) that are in the packet. ATTENDEES MAY ONLY SIGN IN FOR THEMSELVES. (see TCDP GUIDELINES p. 4 *) Only those persons who voted in the 2008 Democratic Primary may participate in the caucus. A person is verified in one of three ways: 1. The attendee’s voter registration card was stamped as having voted in the 2008 Democratic Primary, or 2. The attendee was given a stamped Party Affiliation Card when they voted, or 3. The attendee is listed in the precinct voter roster as having voted in the 2008 Democratic Primary. This is the roster of registered voters provided by the Democratic presiding judge. The roster will indicate those who voted Democratic in your precinct on March 4th and also includes those who Voted Early, or Voted by Mail.

5) The Chair, Secretary and caucus representatives determine the following and then announce:
a. the threshold for a caucus to be able to elect delegates

b. percent of people attending the precinct convention who support each candidate

c. number of delegates the supporters of each candidate are entitled to elect

There is an “E-Z Math Precinct Delegate Formula” sheet in the packet to help you. Please see mathematical examples at the end of these TCDP GUIDELINES.

Once the threshold and proportional allocation of delegates has been announced by the Chair of the precinct convention, it cannot be changed by any late arrivals to the convention. Late attendees can still sign in with their presidential preference and participate, but their arrival cannot change the threshold or the allocation of delegates.

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