RNC cuts ties with voter-drive firm

Sept. 28, 2012 at 7:03 PM
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WASHINGTON, Sept. 28 (UPI) -- Florida elections officials have requested a criminal investigation of a firm the Republican National Committee hired to register voters, NBC News said Friday.

Officials said Friday Strategic Allied Consulting -- a company formed in June by Nathan Sproul, an Arizona political consultant -- turned in possibly fraudulent voter registration forms in at least 10 Florida counties. The party has filed an election fraud complaint with the state Division of Elections against the consulting firm, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The Republican National Committee hired Strategic Allied Consulting to conduct voter registration and get-out-the-vote drives in Florida, Virginia, Colorado, North Carolina and Nevada, the newspaper said. The party said Thursday it has cut ties with the firm, which was paid at least $3.1 million through individual state parties, the Times reported.

The Palm Beach (Fla.) Post reported this week officials in Palm Beach County handed over 106 voter registration forms to prosecutors after discovering forgeries and other problems.

The problem is "not just Palm Beach County," wrote Paul Lux, supervisor of elections in Okaloosa County, in an email to other supervisors, the Times reported.

Lux said Santa Rosa County found fake signatures, addresses and incorrect birthdays -- along with some names that seemed to match death records.

"A number of dead people were trying to register to vote," Lux said.

Republican party officials alleged in the election fraud complaint that Strategic Allied Consulting turned in voter registration forms with phony signatures and addresses.

Chris Cate, a spokesman for the Florida Division of Elections, said the division is investigating and will forward its findings to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

Other firms operated by Sproul have been investigated in the past for alleged voter registration fraud and have been accused of misconduct designed to help Republican candidates -- including dumping registration forms filled out by Democrats. None of those allegations have led to criminal charges.

Sean Spicer, spokesman for the RNC, said the party had "zero tolerance" for voter fraud and cut ties to the firm Wednesday.

"We severed our relationship," he said. "We acted swiftly and boldly."

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