Florida voter fraud charge tied to state Republican party

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The Republican Party of Florida has decided to fire a firm it has given more than a million dollars to register voters, after receiving accusations of voter registration fraud.

The accusations arose after Palm Beach County Elections Supervisor Susan Bucher flagged 106 “questionable” registration applications that Strategic Allied Consulting turned in this month, the Palm Beach Post reported.

Bucher asked for a review after she and her staff noticed similar-looking signatures, missing information and false addresses on the applications. She said some of the applications were for new voters and others were for change of address or party affiliation and new voter cards.

Republican Party of Florida Executive Director Mike Grissom told the local newspaper, “When we learned today about the instances of potential voter registration fraud that occurred in Palm Beach County, we immediately informed the Republican National Committee that we were terminating the contract with the voter registration vendor we hired at their request because there is no place for voter registration fraud in Florida.”

The Center for Responsive Politics shows that Strategic Allied Consulting tops the list of the Florida GOP’s 2012 election expenditures. The list says the firm was paid about $667,000, but the Palm Beach Post is reporting that an identical payment was made in August, bringing the total to over $1.3 million.

Salon reported that the firm may be a shell company belonging to Nathan Sproul, a political consultant who is repeatedly hired by Republican presidential campaigns even though he has been accused of shredding Democratic voter registration forms in different states during several past elections.

This is the same consultant Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign hired last year, paying him over $70,000 for “field consulting” and “rent and utilities,” according to the Republic Report. Sproul worked with the campaign from last November to this March.

Any submission of false or altered voter registration information is considered a third degree felony and is punishable by up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

Bucher has called this “a very concerning issue, heading toward book-closing for a presidential election.”

The applications are currently being reviewed.

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