During the week of March 31, 2008 to April 5, 2008, the Obama for America campaign and its agents distributed tickets to a concert by Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds to be held at Assembly Hall at Indiana University Bloomington on April 6.
It is clear that these tickets had value; they were even being sold on eBay after they were given out for free. Based upon my information and reasonable belief, arising from publicly-available information and openly-given accounts of the event and the circumstances of the distribution of its tickets, I think that these tickets were being given out as a quid pro quo by the campaign and its agents for new voter registrations.
Further, I believe that these “free” tickets constitute payment of property by the Obama for America campaign and its agents in exchange not just for new voter registrations but to influence the opinions of voters in the May 6 primary that were the recipients of said tickets.
That the Matthews concert tickets had value is clear from Internet reports of tickets being sold on eBay as Fluhr observes. More damning to the Obama campaign are reports that even people who were already registered were being encouraged to "re-register" in order to get a ticket to the concert. The Obama campaign was reportedly offering financial incentives to people who registered 20 or more voters. It is absolutely asinine to encourage registered voters to "re-register." It simply creates a lot of unnecessary paperwork for election workers. It frankly bothers me more that Obama's campaign would deliberately re-register voters as the campaign's offer of free concert tickets because of the unnecessary strain it places on election workers so close to the primary election. According to a report by WTHR's Mary Milz, the Obama campaign turned in over 4,000 new voter registrations to the Marion Co. Clerk's office out of more than 10,000 expected new registrations. Fluhr's complaint raises legitimate concerns. The state election commission should promptly investigate his complaint.