The Republican Party is claiming the Democratic Party has been using pizza as a potential bribe to get more votes in Ohio. The free slices of pizza may have violated a state law that prevents trading something with value for a vote.
This may be the start of “Pizzagate,” Fox News Latino reported. The Ohio Republican Party filed a complaint Thursday, alleging that Democratic President Barack Obama’s campaign may have broken a state law by giving out free pizza. In this heated election, everything is contested, including a slice of pizza.
The GOP filed the complaint with the Franklin County Board of Elections against an Ohio State University student organization. The Buckeyes for Obama group had organized early-vote gatherings that promised free food, according to Fox News Latino.
This free food may have filled hungry stomachs, but it may have also unfairly persuaded individuals to vote for Obama. According to the complaint, “Operatives associated with the Democratic Party and Obama for America, the campaign committee to re-elect Barack Obama, have been and continue to illegally offer items of value in exchange for voting,” the Columbus Dispatch reported.
According to Robert T. Bennett, the chairman of the Ohio Republican Party, "[I]t 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[ed] at -- influencing electors to register to vote and/or cast a ballot,” Fox News Latino reported.
If anyone is found guilty, that individual will lose his or her right to vote, the Columbus Dispatch said. A representative of the Ohio Democratic Party, Jerid Kurtz, said: “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. The difference in priorities couldn’t be clearer.”
Ohio is a key battleground state for the incumbent Obama and the Republican challenger Mitt Romney. Both candidates have been campaigning frequently in Ohio in advance of the Nov. 6 election.