“We checked to see if the reports of possible fraud were legally sufficient and they were,” said Chris Cate, spokesman for Florida’s elections division. “This is now a matter for FDLE.”
In many ways, it sounds like a repeat of what happened in 2008 when the group ACORN hired scores of part-time workers who submitted phony voter registration cards throughout Florida.
The alleged fraud was like this one: embarrassing and minor. The overwhelming number of ACORN-related voter registrations were never shown to be illegitimate.
Thanks to ACORN’s efforts, and that of the Obama campaign, Democrats wound up with a huge registration lead over Republicans: 657,775. Obama won the election by 236,450, 2.8 percentage points.
But there’s a big difference between the apparent voter-registration fraud that happened under ACORN and that under Strategic Allied Consulting: ACORN reported its own people at the time.
This latest case was blown open by Palm Beach County Elections Supervisor Susan Bucher, a former Democratic state representative, who noticed 106 questionable registration forms.
Bucher turned it over to the state, The Palm Beach Post reported it Tuesday, and soon 9 other counties reported irregularities with registration cards submitted by Strategic Allied Consulting.
Like ACORN then, Strategic is blaming a few rogue employees, who seem to be cropping up in more and more counties.
Another irony: Strategic was spotted because the Republican-led Legislature passed an anti-fraud bill in 2011 that made it easier to track third-party groups registering new voters.
In Okaloosa County, a League of Women Voters activist complained to the local supervisor of elections about the work of a Strategic employee, who boasted that he only had voter registration forms of Republicans and independents. In Colorado, a hidden video captured one Strategic employee trying to register only Republicans.
Strategic is a new company, founded by Arizona’s Nathan Sproul, who did about $70,000 worth of signature-gathering work for Mitt Romney this year.
Another company of Sproul’s, in 2004, was accused in Nevada, Arizona and Oregon of elections irregularities, including allegations that employees destroyed the newly collected registration forms of Democratic voters to keep them off the rolls.
“In each of the three investigations conducted by four law enforcement agencies, we were given a clean bill of health,” the company noted on its website.
Good enough for the RNC.
And it’s certainly pretty good for the Obama campaign.