Rush Limbaugh has re-initiated "Operation Chaos" after briefly placing it on "pause", asking his listeners to vote for Hillary Clinton in the Indiana primaries in order to prolong the Democratic nomination process. This has been known for several days now. It is not such an issue in North Carolina because registered Republicans may not vote in the Democratic primary (only independent voters can) and registration changes are due more than a month before the election.
However, in the latest entry at his website, Limbaugh not only encourages his listeners to vote for Clinton but asks them to break Indiana law to do so.
Here is the relevant paragraph.
Now, as I understand it they're going to have to monitors at the polls, and they're going to check to see if crossover voters, Republican crossover voters have changed from their past registration just this one time, and they're going to then tell the crossovers that they're being watched. Now, the bottom line with all this is, they can't stop anybody from voting however they wish. It's an open primary. They say it's some sort of a crime. I don't know if it's a felony, but it's some sort of a crime for Republican crossovers -- i.e., Operation Chaos operatives -- to go in and vote in the Democrat primary when it's open! The only way a voter could get in trouble here is if the voter turns himself in after voting. And even then, it's a long shot that anybody would be in trouble. So here are today's orders for Indiana Operation Chaos operatives. Flood these precincts. Vote for Mrs. Clinton as an act of defiance against these police state tactics as a form of protest. Indiana Democrat pooh-bahs do not get to intimidate us. They don't get to tell us how to vote and attempt to change the rules in the end of the game. I'm not in favor of these open primaries, but if they're open, then they're open.
So Limbaugh acknowledges to listeners that voting for Clinton is a crime (I'll have more explanation of this in a moment) but encourages them to do it anyway because (i) it's not a felony and (ii) they won't get caught.
The crime that Limbaugh is referring to described in some detail by Richard L. Hasen of Slate Magazine. It is a piece of the Indiana state code that stipulates that in order to vote in the other party's primary, the voter must either:
(i) have voted for more Democrats than Republicans in the last general election (2004), or,
(ii) INTEND to vote for more Democrats than Republicans in the upcoming general election (2008).
The (almost identical) legal wording follows -- the reference in the state code is IC- 3-10-1-6:
Sec. 6. A voter may vote at a primary election:
(1) if the voter, at the last general election, voted for a majority of the regular nominees of the political party holding the primary election; or
(2) if the voter did not vote at the last general election, but intends to vote at the next general election for a majority of the regular nominees of the political party holding the primary election;
as long as the voter was registered as a voter at the last general election or has registered since then.
As added by P.L.5-1986, SEC.6.
A voter who does not meet one of these requirements may be challenged at the polls by another voter. There are have been some noises about such challenges occurring in Indiana, as Limbaugh obtusely refers to. If a voter is challenged at the polls, he must sign an affidavit attesting that he meets the requirements of the law, under penalty of perjury (which I believe is a felony).
Obviously, a lot of Limbaugh listeners would not meet either of these requirements, or so I would imagine.
True, the law is difficult -- and maybe impossible -- to enforce.
But I'm not so concerned about what the voters are doing as what Rush himself is doing. Is it not a crime to encourage the commission of a crime? And at the very least, is this not a bit of a hypocritical stance for a law-and-order conservative to take?