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Sweet: Obama in South Carolina worries about "dirty tricks.""Make sure the votes are counted properly." Pookie and Ray-Ray.

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(photo by Lynn Sweet)

UPDATED NEW LEDE, INSERTS
KINGSTREE, S.C.—White House hopeful Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) will have an availability after he finishes speaking at the Kingstree High School here, and told voters in the Saturday primary. “Don’t let them bamboozle you with these dirty tricks.”

He’s speaking to a mainly African-American audience in a gym here, on a day when his schedule takes him mainly to black communities in a state where half the voters are expected to be black.

Cranking up the crowd to vote, at the end Obama said, "I need you to grab cousin Pookie to vote. I need you to grab Ray-Ray to vote."

Looking ahead to the Saturday vote here, Obama is clearly concerned that there may be some problems at the polls. He said he wanted to make sure that everybody has the “right to vote and to make sure the votes are counted properly.”

UPDATE: I asked Obama about this at his press conference and he said he was not specifically worried about irregularities occuring in South Carolina.

The voting counting is a reference, possibly, to a brewing dispute between the Obama and Clinton campaigns stemming from how the votes were counted in the Nevada caucus. The Obama team claims they were shortchanged.

The Obama campaign is asking the Nevada State Democratic Party to conduct an inquiry over how the precinct votes were conducted. They argue their voters were shut out of caucus sites and they lost votes because of other irregularities carried out by Clinton backers. Clinton won the popular vote, Obama won 13 delegates to Clinton’s 12.

Clinton’s camp sent their own letter to the Nevada party, asserting the Obama team disenfranchised some of their voters. The Obama campaign is not asking for a recount; this is the context where things are at heading to a daylong primary, not an hour-long caucus vote.

3 Comments

“Don’t let them bamboozle you with these dirty tricks.”
The Clintons have been known for dirty tricks all their lives.Did you ever see the fake 3 dollar bill with Bill's picture on it.From Jen Flowers to "I did not have sex with that women" Hillary was right by his side.She learned from the best.Obama is correct to worry.I say vote for a republician like Mitt Romney!

Lynn with all due respect your comment suggests there is question whether any foul play occurred on the part of the Clintons.

Evidently, according to firsthand accounts and eyewitnesses, the Clinton campaign did engage in some underhanded tricks. And further what started out as 200 complaints grew into over one-thousand complaints according to Obama's campaign-web site.

I have not heard of any charges made against Obama's caucus-goers other than Bill Clinton's. Does independent evidence to validate his claims exist?

This issue is something that cannot go unchallenged nor without investigation by either side. It must be addressed. That type of behaviour has been considered typical of the opposition party -- especially during the 2004 election, but on a nationwide-scale.

Obama ought to worry as should Clinton and Edwards after what occurred in the SC republican primaries last Saturday: inoperable LHS/Diebold machines, not enough paper ballots, people turned away from voting, so on and so forth.

We need to scrap the easily hackable LHS/Diebold voting machines and return to paper ballots. Privatizing the election system with only one or two private companies in control of electronically tabulating the number of votes without an outside-independent method to verify the totals is not healthy. The growing disparity of voters with each election is even more troubling along with the caging lists and other shenanigans. I wish the media would start writing about this. This endangers and threatens maintaining democracy and freedom.

This is not an Obama vs Hillary nor a republican vs. democratic issue; It is an American issue that threatens our rights and freedoms.

I sincerely hope Nevada changes from a caucus to a primary.

The more I learn about what happened that day, one thing I haven't seen covered is the logistics problem of having the Republican caucus at 9:00 am and the Democratic caucus in the same places at 11:30 am. Because of the date being moved up (meaning the results mattered) turnout was large. The Republicans ran over their expected time, so the Democrats didn't have enough time to get set up and organized. Also because of the large turnout, precincts were moved to different rooms and locations. That meant a lot of people were 'late' - they were in the building, but they were being sent all over the place. Signage was poor, for whatever reason. (I did wonder if some of the 'changes' were done by the Republicans in the morning, and the Democrats walked into a fait accompli.)

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on January 24, 2008 9:28 AM.

Sweet: The Tony Rezko primer. was the previous entry in this blog.

Sweet: Obama doing David Letterman "top 10" list Thursday night. UPDATE. The List. Video is the next entry in this blog.

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