Pasco Republicans claim election deception, in-school campaigning

Pro-Obama group's appearance at school in question

NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. - Carol Lee Schmidt is still upset a group supporting President Barack Obama was allowed inside Gulf High School.

"They were in the lunch room trying to get them to register to vote for Obama," she said.

The mother of one Gulf High student, Schmidt says what those from Organizing for America told female students was out of place.

"Stating the girls had more rights, under Obama, they can get abortions, birth control, things like that.  Mitt Romney won't let them do that," said Schmidt.

The September 12 incident that also involved a pro-Obama speech to students, is being investigated by the Florida Division of Elections.

Republican Leaders in Pasco County have also filed a complaint with the State Attorney's office.

State Committeeman Bill Bunting says he believes Organizing for America members misrepresented themselves, leading the school to think they were from the elections office.

That could be a felony and Bunting says the school district needs to give answers as to what really happened.

The law was broken and they have an obligation to the citizens of Pasco County to enforce the law," said Bunting.

Phone messages and emails to school district officials were not returned.

Because the 2000 Presidential election was decided by less than 600 votes in Florida, there's a lot of concern by Republicans in Pasco about what may have happened not only at Gulf High School, but at schools around the state.

"If they registered 3000 kids throughout the state of Florida, and that's putting it lightly.  And they vote for Obama, and we have a close election, that can turn an election in a swing state.  That's what bothers me," said Bunting.

The Obama campaign says it was a simple misunderstanding that lead to one of their volunteers speaking to students. That volunteer is no longer with Organizing for America.

Bunting was originally invited to Gulf High to give the Republican view, but school districts ultimately canceled his appearance.

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