Ron Paul

How to Buy a Straw Poll

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Republicans held a straw poll in Vinoy Park, FL, down the road from the YouTube debate, and around 500 Ron Paul backers showed up to support their man. Yet Mitt Romney won the poll handily, with 893 votes out of 1539 cast… at event that drew around 1000 people. How'd he do it?

"I voted 20 times," Derek Gyongzois, 38, of St. Petersburg exclaimed after casting ballots.

He said he works as a volunteer for the Romney campaign (and begged a reporter not to print his 20-vote tally). Did he buy the tickets?

"I don't have that kind of money," Gyongzois said.

He wasn't the only person voting more than once. Paul supporter Mike Wagner, 57, of St. Petersburg: "This thing is rigged."

Some Paul people bought multiple tickets, too, according to the report. But a campaign paying $400 to one person, and maybe more than $10,000 overall, just to spite the Paul people? Given that it led to the sleazy scene captured by YouTuber geo2525t , I don't know if it was worth it. Watch the volunteers with Romney stickers vote, remove their voting cards from the machines, insert another card, vote, and repeat. (Geo2525t has another video here.)