The Florida Department of Law Enforcement announced today that it is
investigating a Republican voter-registration firm for possible fraud in
at least a dozen counties.
Strategic Allied Consulting was fired
last week by the Republican National Committee and the Florida party
after county elections officials reported scores of suspicious forms.
The state GOP also asked the Florida Division of Elections for an
reviewing this complaint, FDLE has decided that a criminal
investigation into these allegations is warranted. This is now an
active investigation, which precludes us from providing further
information until such time that the investigation is complete," the
FDLE said in a statement, the Tampa Bay Times says.
to the announcement, Strategic Allied Consulting spokesman David
Leibowitz. told the Tampa paper, "This company doesn't tolerate
contractors who can't comply with their training or election law."
Spokesmen for the Republican and Democratic parties said they, too, welcomed the investigation.
On Tuesday, the Tampa Bay Times reported
that the Virginia-based group, headed by Arizona conservative operative
Nathan Sproul, knew about problems in Florida earlier than reported.
2004, employees with his previous firms were accused of a wide
assortment of infractions: destroying voter registration forms of
Democrats, duping college students into registering as Republicans,
refusing to register Democrats or independents. Nevada, Oregon and
Arizona opened investigations but closed them without charging anyone.
Sproul, 40, and his associates say Democrats
are bound to criticize his work, which he claims has signed up 500,000
voters since 2004. But Republicans aren't standing by him, either. The
state Republican Party in Florida, North Carolina, Colorado and Virginia
fired the firm Sept. 25, and the Republican Party of Florida filed an
election fraud complaint last week that is now part of a criminal
investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. ...
representatives have said they kept Florida Republicans informed once
they were alerted of questionable registration forms in Palm Beach
County and fired the employee responsible on Sept. 18. ...
the director of voter registration said Tuesday that she noticed "some
odd applications that came quite a bit earlier, on Aug. 28. It looked
like someone had checked Republican for a number of party registration
boxes that didn't match the rest of the applications. Four of the forms
appeared to have been filled out by the same person," the Times writes.