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GOP alleging Obama camp traded pizza for Ohio votes

By Julie Carr Smyth

Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 02:12 p.m. HST, Oct 27, 2012

COLUMBUS, Ohio » Republicans in battleground Ohio accused Democrats of possibly trying to buy votes with pizza.

The Ohio Republican Party filed a complaint Wednesday with the Franklin County Board of Elections alleging the Buckeyes for Obama student organization at Ohio State University violated a law that prohibits offering something of value for a person's vote.

Ohio State is one of America's largest campuses, with more than 56,000 students. Buckeyes for Obama began a series of early vote rallies Oct. 22 that run through Nov. 1. On posters, the events are advertised: "Free Food. Come Together. Make History."

Ohio Republican Chairman Bob Bennett attached an affidavit to his complaint letter quoting an anonymous student staffer of the Obama campaign saying the campaign has an "unlimited" tab with the pizza chain Donatos for the six rallies, being held at the Ohio Union.

Participants also got free bumper stickers and free transportation to the nearby early voting center, the complaint said.

Bennett's letter to directors of the bipartisan election board said "it is reasonable to infer that the individuals handing out food, including the Obama for America staffers, were attempting to — and in fact, may have succeed at — influencing electors to register to vote and/or cast a ballot. Such conduct is clearly prohibited under Ohio law."

The Franklin County board plans to take up the issue immediately.

In a media briefing today, the Obama campaign said its yearslong grassroots organizing effort in Ohio is paying off with strong showings in early voting in key areas across the state, including college campuses.

The state Democratic Party said the GOP's challenge was ironic coming from Republicans who tried to block early voting opportunities ahead of the Nov. 6 election.

"Democrats went to court to fight off the Republican attack on the final three days of early voting. Meanwhile, Republicans threatened us with a lawsuit because they're upset about a pizza party," said party spokesman Jerid Kurtz. "The difference in priorities couldn't be clearer."

County election boards in Ohio are comprised of two Republicans and two Democrats. Ties are broken by the secretary of state, who is currently a Republican.

Associated Press writer Dan Sewell in Cincinnati contributed to this report.

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loquaciousone wrote:
Pepperoni or Supreme? What about the beer? Vegetarian pizzas would make me vote for the Green Party.
on October 26,2012 | 10:20AM
MakaniKai wrote:
Gluten Free if you please, Joe.
on October 26,2012 | 10:23AM
thepartyfirst wrote:
Desperation time! Gotta bribe for votes.
on October 26,2012 | 11:30AM
false wrote:
with pizza?
on October 26,2012 | 11:55AM
2Lolo wrote:
Free? It never is. Most likely, bribery is funded by tax payers. Hope the stooges get heartburn.
on October 26,2012 | 11:38AM
false wrote:
Geeez it only Pizza for gosh sakes. If thats all it takes to buy votes the guy who owns Papa John better consider running.
on October 26,2012 | 11:55AM
loquaciousone wrote:
He's got my vote as long as he includes beer.
on October 26,2012 | 12:07PM
loquaciousone wrote:
I like to go to bars and get my free $40 shirt.
on October 26,2012 | 12:06PM
walaau808 wrote:
on October 26,2012 | 01:37PM
hawaiikone wrote:
Somehow Bush brainwashed them into doing it....
on October 26,2012 | 03:46PM
shcole wrote:
dem votes come cheap, gop votes would have required steak and lobster....
on October 26,2012 | 04:56PM
Pacej001 wrote:
Whassamatta. Run out of free cell phones.
on October 26,2012 | 05:03PM
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