(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.