FIRST LADY CAMPAIGNS INSIDE POLLING PLACE
Thu Oct 14 2010 16:19:25 ET
First lady Michelle Obama appears to have violated Illinois law -- when she engaged in political discussion at a polling place!
The drama began after Mrs. Obama stopped off at the Martin Luther King Center on the south side of Chicago to cast an early vote.
After finishing at the machine, Obama went back to the desk and handed in her voting key.
She let voters including electrician Dennis Campbell, 56, take some photos.
"She was telling me how important it was to vote to keep her husband's agenda going," Campbell said.
According to a pool reporter from the CHICAGO SUN-TIMES at the scene, the conversation took place INSIDE the voting center, not far from the booths.
Illinois state law -- Sec. 17-29 (a) -- states: "No judge of election, pollwatcher, or other person shall, at any primary or election, do any electioneering or soliciting of votes or engage in any political discussion within any polling place [or] within 100 feet of any polling place."
A top Ilinois State Board of Elections official tells the DRUDGE REPORT that Mrs. Obama -- a Harvard-educated lawyer -- may have simply been ignorant of the law and thus violated it unintentionally.
"You kind of have to drop the standard for the first lady, right?" the official explained late Thursday. "I mean, she's pretty well liked and probably doesn't know what she's doing."
WHITE HOUSE DEFENDS ELECTIONEERING
When questioned about the brazen nature of Mrs. Obama's campaigning, press secretary Robert Gibbs defended the action.
"I don't think it would be much to imagine, the First Lady might support her husband's agenda," Gibbs smiled.