Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton didn’t take this past weekend off to rest. Instead, she showed up at a polling site in Raleigh, NC, where voters were showing up to vote early and to support their candidate.
Although Clinton didn’t pay close attention to election law as she tried to convince voters to elect her, others did.
The issue deals with how close Clinton got to voters at the entrance to the polling place. North Carolina law states that no one can do anything to “hinder access, harass others, distribute campaign literature, place political advertising, solicit votes, or otherwise engage in election-related activity in the voting place or in a buffer zone.”
The buffer zone extends 50 feet from the entrance to the polling place.
The question here is exactly where the buffer zone is at this particular location and if Clinton actively campaigned within it. There are two issues that make this difficult. First, the entrance to the building is different than the entrance to the polling place. To further complicate matters, some voters are allowed to vote curbside if they are physically unable to get inside the building. Clinton and her entourage pulled up and campaigned close to that area, clearly within the buffer zone if you also consider the curbside voting area to be part of the polling place.
The Political Insider says that “Clinton’s entourage rolled up to the Chablis Community Center and the candidate took selfies with adoring fans while early voting was taking place.” The local ABC affiliate even described the stop as a campaign stop. There appears to be no doubt that Clinton was campaigning at the polling site.
And the video clearly shows her within the buffer zone for those voters who are participating in the curb-side voting. It seems a clear violation of the law to have a candidate campaigning so closely to active voting and having so many supporters even closer.
Watch it here:
— Tim Pulliam (@TimABC11) October 23, 2016
This is not the first time the Clinton campaign has impacted potential voters. A polling place in Massachusetts was shut down temporarily when former President Bill Clinton visited a polling site in March’s primary race.
These buffer zones exist for a reason. And candidates have the right to campaign. But voters have the right to access their voting places and vote freely. That right can’t be infringed upon by candidates or fans wanting selfies. At this point, it looks like no one except observant politicos, mostly conservative, are even taking notice of Clinton’s actions. However, it’s this type of careless behavior and a lack of accountability for these types of campaign laws that make many Americans believe that elections are rigged.