Yesterday, NBC reported that the Republican National Committee and state Republican parties hired Strategic Allied Consulting, a firm run by GOP consultant Nathan Sproul, to register voters in the key battleground states of Florida, North Carolina, Colorado, Nevada, and Virginia. That firm is now under investigation by the Palm Beach County State Attorney's Office on suspicions of voter registration fraud after more than 100 voter registrations with “similar looking signatures” and seemingly phony addresses were submitted to election authorities. Additionally, there are reports of at least four other Florida counties that have received hundreds of potentially fraudulent registration forms from the firm.
Several news outlets report that Republicans have already paid the firm at least $3 million this year, and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney reportedly has paid a separate Sproul-run firm $80,000 for consulting services in his current bid for the White House.
DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz released the following statement in response to the allegations:
“For decades, Democrats have worked to protect the fundamental right to vote and ensure that our elections are open, accessible and secure. Recent actions by the Republican National Committee have demonstrated that their values are fundamentally different. The RNC’s decision to hire a consulting firm with a well-known history of registration fraud and other election-related irregularities is unconscionable, and it is a clear breach of public trust.
“But this incident should come as no surprise: firms led by Sproul have long been associated with allegations of election fraud – including destroying Democratic voter registrations as far back as 2004. What is shocking is that the RNC would employ any such firm with this publicly tainted history. But, it gets worse. According to Sproul, the RNC asked him to create Strategic Allied Consulting in order to hide this checkered past.
“This is only the latest revelation of the RNC’s dirty tricks to skew the election in their favor. Over the last year, we saw Republicans across the country – and especially in my home state of Florida – attempt to make it harder to vote through cuts to early voting and flawed voter purges that knocked eligible Americans off the voting rolls, an effort that continues to this day. Only recently did Florida’s Republican Secretary of State finally agree to fully restore voting rights for thousands of eligible registrants who were unfairly and improperly targeted for purging.
“It’s clear that Republicans cannot be trusted with voter registrations at any point in the process. Florida’s voters – and all eligible Americans – deserve so much better.”