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May 1 was the Super Tuesday primary in Massachusetts and 11 other states. In the Democratic primary, Hillary Clinton was going up against Bernie Sanders, in an election that was very close. On election day Bill Clinton (who is not a voter in Massachusetts) showed up and entered polling places in Roxbury and Newton. In addition, on the same day and not far from a polling place, he held a rally for Hillary.

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Big Dawg Interferes with Massachusetts Primary—Michael Hertz

The Massachusetts law is clear on the subject. 950 CMR 54.04(22)(d). Activities at Polling Place. Within 150 feet of a polling place as defined in 950 CMR 54.04(22)(c), no person shall solicit votes for or against, or otherwise promote or oppose, any person or political party or position on a ballot question, to be voted on at the current election.

The Clinton campaign insisted that Bill did not actually solicit votes for Hillary inside the polling place. But clearly he held a rally near a polling place (at which he used a bullhorn) and then went inside. “The former president chatted up voters, kissed an old lady on the head, posed for photos, and bought a cup of coffee.” If he was “chatting up voters,” it seems unlikely that he did not mention Hillary. But even if he didn't, his mere presence inside the polling place was in itself a solicitation to vote for her. After all, he had no connection with the polling place other than to serve as a reminder to vote for Hillary. (Anyone who looks at many videos and photos of what happened can see exactly what Bill Clinton was doing).

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The Clinton campaign insisted that Bill did not actually solicit votes for Hillary inside the polling place. But clearly he held a rally near a polling place (at which he used a bullhorn) and then went inside.

A woman named Veronica Wolski from Chicago apparently looked at all of the information flooding the internet and decided to start a petition on Change.org to arrest and prosecute Bill Clinton for violating Massachusetts voting laws. Between March 1 and 4, the number of signing petitioners grew to 104,230 (as of 5:30 PST). It is one of the most popular current petitions on Change.org. Despite all of this, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts appears to have declined do anything.

No one appears to be surprised that the Commonwealth is doing nothing, and I'm not either. But clearly former President Clinton was skating on thin ice, and an actual prosecution would be fully justified. After all, what would be the point of his entering a polling place on election day other than to publicize Hillary's campaign? He is, in fact, a walking solicitation to vote for her even if he says absolutely nothing. Notice that he chose to appear in a state where the election was bound to be close and where the publicity of his presence could change the minds of crucial voters. Hillary got 50% and Bernie 49% of the vote. If 11,000 votes were changed, Bernie would have won.

The comments on Facebook about the petition ranged from accusations that the petitioners were whining about losing the election (“This is an obvious attempt to smear Hillary. Why are you abetting the idiots by spreading this?”) to ones that Bill Clinton actually prevented voting (“Clinton LITERALLY prevented people in Bernie Sanders favorable districts from getting into the polling places to vote”).

My own take on all of this is that our systems is corrupt, and that a person like Bill Clinton can do something that would cause an ordinary person to be arrested and prosecuted. The important question is: why did he do what he did? Was he really trying to sway voters, or was he simply demonstrating his personal power and ability to get away with anything that he chose to do? In either case, what he did should cause voters to question whether his wife should be President when Bill Clinton will enjoy renewed power over the country.

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Michael Hertz