Oct 9, 2012Print This Post
A Florida election supervisor has expressed grave concerns over allegations that Organizing For America volunteers misrepresented themselves as elections officials to gain access to high schools so they could register teenagers to vote.
“It’s a felony to misrepresent yourself as being an election official when you are not,” said Brian Corley, the supervisor of elections in Pasco County.
Corley said the pro-Obama volunteers registered “hundreds” of high school students last month when they were given access to as many as a half dozen Pasco County Schools – a district located north of Tampa.
According to school email obtained by Fox News, some of the Organizing For America volunteers identified themselves as employees of the local elections office.
“I spoke with administration at both FHS and HHS who told me that three individuals (at least two of them former Pasco teachers) have been at their school,” wrote staff member Paula Lesko in an email to another employee. “However, in at least one case, those individuals said they were from the Pasco Supervisor of Elections Office.”
Corley told Fox News that none of his employees were involved in the registration drive.
“It’s troubling,” he said. “They were certainly not with our office.”
In addition to voter registration drives, a former teacher was allowed to deliver Obama speeches to a number of senior high school students.
“She got into six classrooms and gave pro-Obama speeches – like way off to the left,” said James Mathieu, general counsel for the Pasco County Republican Party. “Parents complained.”
When Republicans demanded equal access, the school system refused.
“There was definitely discussion of having a Republican come in for equal access,” spokesman John Mann told Fox News. “We’re not going in that direction because that would indeed be an additional violation of board policy.”
The school system confirmed they are investigating the allegations but so far they have not contacted local law enforcement about the possible violations of state law. That has a number of parents wondering why?
“It’s a security issue,” said parent Carlos Saenz. “We have some individuals who essentially perpetrated a fraud and accessed the school grounds under false pretenses.”
Sanez said he called three board members to ask why the police haven’t been called – and so far he hasn’t received an answer.
“This is too big, too important for the school board to handle it internally,” he said. “This needs to be handed to the authorities. There are people that committed fraud and if there was a crime committed – then than needs to be identified and perhaps prosecuted.”
As the county’s election supervisor, Conley said he was disturbed at the partisan nature of the registration drive.
“It’s disconcerting to hear allegations of any third party with an agenda towards any sort of partisanship going – and speaking to our students,” he told Fox News.
Conley said Organizing For America turned over their registration cards – and to his knowledge nothing appeared inappropriate.
“I did take a look at the data to make sure there were no anomalies,” he said.
Saenz told Fox News the incident is a clear example of what he called the “liberal tendencies” of the school board.
And many local residents are still wondering why Democrats were allowed access to school children – but Republicans were not granted the same access.