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Pasco elections chief, pro-Obama campaign make peace

The bad blood appears to be over between Pasco's election chief and the campaign supporting President Barack Obama.

Supervisor of Elections Brian Corley said the two sides had a "positive meeting" Friday morning to cool tensions over a robocall from Organizing for America that he said confused some voters.

Earlier this week, Corley said the robocall was "highly misleading." The campaign responded that Corley unfairly tarnished their get-out-the-vote efforts.

"I don't think we came to hold hands and sing Kumbaya," Corley said of the meeting. "But it was definitely more pleasant than our dealings earlier in the week."

The robocall said people "don't have to wait to vote." It said voters can simply show up at an elections office, request a ballot and vote on the spot. Corley said voters were confused and thought early voting was under way. It doesn't start until Oct. 27.

The robocall never mentions "early voting," but it also doesn't use the term "absentee ballot," which is what voters would need to request if they want to vote at an elections office now.

Corley praised the group on Friday for their "creative" tactic of targeting voters using a little-used voting method. He also said the so-called "carry-out absentee ballot" reduces pressure on his staff during early voting and on Election Day.

"We have a commonality of getting people out to vote, and I'm okay with that," he said.

In a statement, the campaign said it looks forward to continuing to work with Corley "to ensure that voters can take advantage of the convenient ways for them to cast their ballots in the weeks leading up to the election or on Election Day."

Corley said campaign staffers told him they have stopped the calls for now. If they do start up again, he implored the group to tweak the script to make it clear what voters should request when they stop by his office. He said the staffers he met with did not commit to such a change in the script.

Lee Logan can be reached at llogan@tampabay.com or (727) 869-6236.

Pasco elections chief, pro-Obama campaign make peace 10/05/12 [Last modified: Friday, October 5, 2012 8:16pm]
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