The Chicago Board of Elections said no complaints have been filed following allegations that First Lady Michelle Obama violated Illinois election law Thursday.
Obama had visited a Chicago polling place to cast her vote in the upcoming Illinois election. According to the White House pool report, she also spoke to other voters while she was in the polling place.
“She was telling me how important it was to vote to keep her husband’s agenda going,” Dennis Campbell, one of the voters the first lady spoke to, said.
That exchange triggered allegations that Obama violated Illinois election law, which 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, within 100 feet of any polling place …”
Although the story quickly became the headline on the Drudge Report and received significant attention in the media, the Illinois Board of Election told the Daily Caller Friday that, more than 24 hours after the event, there had been no official complaint.
Jim Allen, public information officer at CBE, noted that Fox News and other media outlets had taped Obama’s visit to the polling place and “nothing could be heard.”
He stated that it was Mr. Campbell who “initiated contact with Mrs. Obama not the other way around,” and added, “Electioneering is only punishable if someone is approaching voters, warned to move out of the election zone, and then persists.”
Therefore, if anybody violated the law, it would have been Campbell, the voter who approached the first lady, Allen suggested.
However, Charlie Spies, an election attorney with Clark Hill, PLC, argues that “even if her conversations didn’t constitute electioneering, they almost certainly violated the broader Sec. 17-29 ban on engaging in ‘any political discussion within any polling place.’”
Violating the election code could result in a misdemeanor.
The Obama’s office has not responded to a request for comment.