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Tipsheet

Caught on Tape: Salaried Obama Campaign Worker Helps Undercover Reporter Vote Twice

New video from Project Veritas shows an Obama for America campaign staffer providing advice and a ballot to an undercover reporter posing as an Obama activist about how to vote twice in the upcoming presidential election. The activist tells Obama for America Houston Director Stephanie Caballero, who is a salaried employee of the Democratic National Committee, she wants to vote in Texas and in Florida.

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Former DOJ Attorney Christian Adams explains the legality of the situation.

Obama campaign attorney Robert Bauer should be emailing memos to every paid staffer detailing 42 USC 1973i(e) and 42 USC § 1973gg–10(2). The former federal law makes it illegal to vote twice. The latter law prohibits fraudulent voting in a federal election. 18 USC 2 makes it illegal to aid and abet election fraud.

Encouraging voter participation of marginal legality is nothing new for the Obama campaign. In 2008, they had an elaborate web portal for college students, encouraging some to register to vote where they went to school, discouraging others. The overall goal was to get students attending college in battleground states registered to vote in those states regardless of their actual domicile. If a student from a battleground state went to college in a safe red or blue state, they were encouraged to keep their registration in their home battleground state.

The Obama campaign website in 2008 never told the students to cancel their original voter registration. Nor did it provide guidelines for what constituted bona fide domicile.

Currently, voter watchdog groups like True the Vote are conducting data crunching to determine who may have violated federal election law in 2008 by voting in two states for President. If someone does it again in 2012, it will eventually be caught thanks to the efforts of private parties combing voter rolls.

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The Obama for America will spin this story by throwing Caballero under the bus and will say she is an inexperienced staffer. The problem is, Caballero is the director of the Obama for America Houston office pulling a salary. Caballero isn't an inexperienced staffer or volunteer, not to mention, Caballero's response to the questions about voting twice should have been, "You can't do that and it's illegal." Instead, Caballero giggled and encouraged double voting in Texas and the swing state of Florida.

UPDATE: Watchdog.org has more information about the violation of statutes.

Federally, 42 USC § 1973gg is the strongest as it penalizes attempts to deprive residents of a fair election through false voter registration forms.  42 USC 1973i(c) is your other strong bet.  There are more (like the antiquated 18 USC 597), but these 1973gg and 1973i(c) are your strongest federal options.  

Remember, policing election integrity occurs first at the state level, then goes up to the federal level.  Under Texas law, pay attention to Section 273.001 of the Texas Election Code.  It provides that if two or more registered voters present affidavits alleging criminal conduct in connection with the election to the county prosecutor,  he shall investigate the matter.  If the conduct concerns activities beyond one county, the state attorney general may be properly involved.  And Texas imposes duties upon state registrars to ensure that voter registration forms are complete and true -- see Tex. Elec. Code 15.021, 15.112, 15.051(a).  Texas election law also permits voting contests to occur when there is evidence of fraud or mistake in connection with the administration of an election (e.g. registering false voters).  See Tex. Elec. Code 221.003

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