Two Bernie Sanders campaign officials in New Hampshire were caught on undercover camera openly admitting that they registered to vote in the state by falsely using the address of the campaign headquarters.
The video, which comes from James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas Action (PVA), has prompted a referral from the Manchester city clerk to the state’s attorney general.
The footage shows Hugo Palma, who served as the Sanders campaign’s Manchester field director, explaining the scheme to an undercover journalist.
“So, to vote in New Hampshire, all you have to do is prove domicile. That’s about it,” Palma says in the video.
The Colorado Springs native said that he had listed his address as the Sanders campaign’s Manchester headquarters even though he was staying at a house in a smaller town. To help perpetuate the possible fraud, he had a bank statement sent to the campaign office’s address.
Would-be voters in the state sign an affidavit when registering to vote which affirms that they “must be domiciled” in the city where they are registering.
A domicile is defined as a place to which “a person has the intention of returning.”
“By registering or voting today, I am acknowledging that I am not domiciled or voting in any other state or any other city/town,” state law reads.
The penalty for providing false information during registration is up to a year in jail, a fine up to $2,000 and a possible $5,000 civil penalty.
Palma emphatically states in the video that he planned to leave New Hampshire — which he called a “shit show” — on Feb. 13, the day after the primary, which Sanders won by a landslide.
Donna Waterman, a Sanders campaign staffer, also listed the campaign office as her home address, O’Keefe found. During an exchange with the PVA journalist, she too explained how to register to vote by claiming domicile status. She also said that she was not sure whether the scheme was legal.
“If you have a piece of mail sent here, you can register the day-of,” Waterman said, adding that “you can send it to the office, that’s what Hugo did.”
She later said that she did not “know the legality of it.”
Waterman also explained that most others in the office were claiming domicile “even though that’s not true” and “even though we are not planning on coming back.”
“It’s super super easy to register in New Hampshire, because you bring in a piece of mail and that’s claiming domicile,” she said.
According to the New Hampshire Union Leader, the revelation of the staffers’ use of false addresses prompted a Manchester city clerk to send voting registration documents to the state’s attorney general.
“We were made aware of alleged election improprieties which we promptly forwarded to the Attorney General’s Office for an investigation and determination if necessary,” Manchester city clerk Matt Normand told the Union Leader.
Normand also confirmed that Palma voted by absentee ballot last month while Waterman did not vote in the primary.
The Union Leader also found that the lease on the building that housed the Sanders campaign office prohibited the space from being used for residential purposes.
In his conversation with the undercover O’Keefe journalist, Palma insisted that his false domicile claim was not illegal.
“So, obviously you’re not voting in Colorado then?” the journalist asked him.
“No, if I’m voting in Colorado then that’s voter fraud. I can’t do that, no no no,” Palma said, adding that “it’s frowned upon but it’s not illegal.”
In another exchange, a Sanders campaign volunteer cast doubt on the plan to use the campaign address in order to vote.
“Oh wow, that’s okay?” the PVA journalist asked Rebecca Doyle, a Sanders volunteer, about Palma’s housing arrangement.
“Uhh, not really,” she said, adding that “the higher up people” encouraged campaign workers to vote in New Hampshire.
“Why, though?” the journalist asked.
“I guess because it’s New Hampshire and votes kind of count more,” Doyle said.
The Sanders campaign did not respond to The Daily Caller’s request for comment.
[dcquiz] O’Keefe has conducted several sting operations targeted at the New Hampshire primaries. In 2012, he filmed poll workers handing out ballots bearing the names of deceased residents. The footage sparked the state legislature to pass stricter voter ID laws. Distraught liberals called for an investigation of O’Keefe.
O’Keefe released another video last week showing other Sanders campaign workers discussing how to exploit the state’s domicile registration loophole. It also purportedly showed poll workers accommodating out-of-state campaign workers who were attempting to vote in the primary without having established a domicile in the state.
That video also prompted an investigation, which is still underway.