State: Bill Clinton Didn’t Break Election Law on Super Tuesday

A petition calling for his arrest has garnered nearly 100,000 signatures.

Clinton Walsh

State officials do not believe former President Bill Clinton violated election law while visiting polling locations in West Roxbury and New Bedford on Super Tuesday.

After greeting voters and poll workers, Clinton posed with Mayor Marty Walsh and a man holding a Democratic ballot inside the Holy Name gymnasium in West Roxbury in a photograph first obtained by Boston magazine. Clinton later appeared outside a polling location in New Bedford with Mayor Jon Mitchell and used a megaphone to stump for his wife, Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton.

Though a representative for Sen. Bernie Sanders’ campaign told Boston he received a dozen complaints that Clinton’s speech blocked voters from reaching the polling place, Brian McNiff of Secretary Bill Galvin’s office said the polls were “never inaccessible.”

Massachusetts election law prohibits any person from distributing “campaign material intended to influence the vote of a voter in the ongoing election” within 150 of a polling location. In addition, “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 law reads.

McNiff told the New Bedford Standard-Times via email Thursday “there was no violation,” despite Clinton and Mitchell standing, by the paper’s estimate, 85 feet from the polling place. “The Secretary of State has already said it’s not looking into the matter any further. That office has made its decision,” Mitchell told the Standard-Times.

Had Galvin’s office determined there was a violation, state law would only require Clinton to pay a $20 fine. An online petition started by a woman in Chicago calling for Clinton’s “immediate arrest” has garnered nearly 100,000 signatures, and the Standard-Times says it’s received about 60 form letters with regard to Tuesday’s incidents.

  • Mumbles

    This is the Clinton way. Skirt with the edge of the law, or break laws that nobody wants to bother to enforce. This is what we have to look forward to, after enduring 8 years of if from them in the 1990s.

    • intheivy


  • Diane W.

    What else is new! The Clinton’s are allowed to get away with breaking the law all the time, thanks to sycophants like Brian McNiff and Secretary Bill Galvin.

    If Hillary Clinton wins the nomination, then I will be leaving the Democrat party! I’m tired of phony politicians like Bill and Hillary Clinton representing our party.

    • daronlady620

      Consider the alternatives. Do you really want to see any of the GOP Clown Car candidates leading this country?

      • intheivy

        YES, I would rather have ANY GOP than ANY Clinton!
        I will not reward their underhanded dirty dog dealing!
        If Clinton gets in, she’ll be there for 8, and then the brat Chelsea will be making waves for her run for the WH.
        We’re taking the party back from the crooks and the liars!
        We’re making the party of the Democrats a DEMOCRATIC party!

        • daronlady620

          If you did a little honest research you would find how many of the accusations against the Clintons are BS, generated by their political enemies. Learn to recognize the difference between fact and political spin. And if you think the GOP isn’t populated by crooks and liars, you must have been living under a rock.

          • intheivy

            Ad hominem.

            The Clintons have been in public office for the majority of their adult lives; this isn’t “political enemies” or the “GOP,” this is the Clinton record.

          • daronlady620

            Much of what you call “the Clinton record” is fabrication. Do the research. And I suggest you don’t use sources like Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck or Sean Hannity.

  • zmann

    And where’s Elizabeth Warren on this? Silent just like she was on her endorsement?

  • Hannah Anderson

    Isn’t this article about Roxbury? What about New Bedford? Is there any chance of getting the Secretary of State to reconsider closing the investigation?

  • zoso418

    Bernie could defect and run as Independent in the General Election.

  • intheivy