On February 20, Justin Linden went out to caucus for Bernie Sanders in Clark County, Nevada.
As he was waiting to be counted, he says he saw a volunteer begin passing out ballots to Hillary Clinton supporters, who already had ballots in their hands. When he tried to ask why this was being done, Linden says his questions were ignored.
That’s when he took out his cell phone and started recording.
Over the next 28 minutes, Linden captured footage that shows how easily the caucus process can be manipulated.
At the time of the count, there were 33 caucus-goers present to support Bernie Sanders. There were 21 present to support Hillary Clinton.
According to caucus rules, only people who are actually present are supposed to be included in the final tally.
Yet after the official count was taken, Linden was stunned to see officials adding ballots to the count, from people who were not there.
Suddenly, to everyone’s surprise, the count on Hillary Clinton’s side began to rise.
Another caucus-goer, Rhiannon Frauenfeld, confirmed that this is exactly what happened.
Frauenfeld told Addicting Info:
With the paper ballots of absentee people included, it was 42/31 Bernie still leading. As she went to walk away after counting the Hillary ballots she turns back around and pulls out ballots that were in her hands and counts several more. This is when we were all confused because we didn’t know where these ballots came from. She had been holding everything so we didn’t know if they were ballots she already counted or where she got them.
It gets worse from there.
As documented in Linden’s video, the tally on Clinton’s side continues to rise, although no-one is sure where these extra ballots keep coming from.
Linden provided us with a timeline from the video, noting that all of the volunteers mentioned were wearing Hillary Clinton shirts.
Here’s an overview of the major events, as Linden describes them;
6 minutes: Volunteer claims Hillary now has (37) ballots. Is questioned where the extra ballots came from and does not reply.
7.5 minutes: Volunteer 1 claims there are even more ballots to add to the count.
10.5 minutes: Volunteer 1 claims there are even more ballots to add to the count.
12.25 minutes: Volunteer 1 comes back and says “with the extra added,” both camps are tied (42) to (42). The delegate count is (7) to (7). She had not collected ballots from people present at this point.
13 minutes: Volunteer 1 collects the ballots of those present
14 minutes: Ballots are collected from Bernie’s camp, but handed back out to Hillary camp.
16 minutes: Volunteer 1 hands ballots to Hillary side, claiming they are filling out second alignment. Bernie’s side does not get this opportunity.
17 minutes: Volunteer 1 and Volunteer 2 begin counting physical ballots.
17.5 minutes: Additional ballot handed to Volunteer 2 from off camera and added to count.
19 minutes: Count of (37) for Hillary, Count for Bernie (35) ***Numerous ballets now missing***
As the events were unfolding, Frauenfeld placed a call to a legal observer, who confirmed to her that a person must be present in order for their vote to be counted during the caucus.
Frauenfeld told Addicting Info:
While I’m on the phone with him I hear the woman conducting the caucus say now the numbers are at 42 to 42. As I try to approach her and tell her that she can only count people who were there and we can demand a recount, she kept telling me to go away.
This encounter is also captured on Linden’s video.
You can watch the entire video, via Justin Linden on Facebook, below.
Linden points out that there is no way to know if the extra ballots were filled out by actual voters. Nor is there any way to know if people filled out multiple ballots.
In any case, according to the Nevada Democratic Party’s website, people who are not physically present cannot be counted during a caucus.
Frauenfeld told us:
“While I can’t say conclusively that I believe that the conduct was a deliberate attempt to cheat the count, it raised doubts about the legitimacy of the process. I feel there was an attempt to skew the results toward Hillary, their favored candidate.”
Linden told us he believes that the volunteers were aware that they were only supposed to count people who were present.
He told us,
“I find it strange that it was called as an even tie, before the volunteer actually collected the ballots.”
Linden also said,
“I find it more strange that Hillary’s number kept going up with every count, and that was fine with them, but when a third of the Bernie ballots disappeared, it wasn’t an issue.”
Image credit: video screen capture via Justin Linden on Facebook