Thursday, September 27, 2012

Is This What Republicans Mean by "Voter Fraud"?

Honestly, I may have "misunderestimated" the grave danger behind this video that we found on Tuesday.

Believe it or not, there's more to this story... And BradBlog has been continuing to dig into it. Apparently, Mitt Romney and the Republican National Committee have hired none other than Nathan Sproul and his company, Strategic Allied Consulting, to do "voter registration". Sproul's company is known to handle "voter registration" for Republicans in Colorado, and in other swing states. And it turns out that Nathan Sproul has quite the history when it comes to "voter registration".

Brad Friedman has put up a history of Sproul’s companies, and their work for Republican interests. They range from antics like gathering signatures to put Nader on the ballot and being banned from Walmart for partisan voting drives to more serious offenses, like allegedly destroying Democratic registration forms in several states while on the payroll of the RNC. [...]

In 2004, a voter registration worker in Nevada hired by Sproul’s firm told reporters that he had witnessed his surpervisors chucking registration forms signed by Democrats. “They were thrown away in the trash,” he claimed. Sproul’s canvassers in Oregon confessed to doing the same thing, and other reports emerged across several swing states. In Minnesota, workers said they were actually fired for bringing in registration forms signed by Democrats. CBS News obtained faxes showing that Sproul's firm had even impersonated the left-leaning America Votes! to organize voter registration drives at libraries.

Oh yes, that's right. Sproul has a history here in Nevada. And it looks like he's back for more!

Strategic Allied Consulting recently put up a proxy to hide the fact that its website was registered by Sproul; but not before Flynn took a screen shot. Flynn notes that the firm has been aggressively hiring in Nevada, North Carolina, Virginia and Florida. He flagged two large payments to the firm from GOP committees in Florida and North Carolina.

This brings me back to what happened at the Henderson DMV last Friday. There, I saw Shadow GOP Team Nevada staff barking "Quick Poll: Romney or Obama!" at people while hiding voter registration forms under a tally sheet. Funny enough, they were deploying the same tactics as the young woman in Colorado... Except that they weren't stupid enough to claim they were working for the Clark County Election Department.

But is there more to Team Nevada's "voter registration project" than what we've seen in public? What's happening behind the scenes? And if Nathan Sproul has indeed returned to Nevada (as his recent hiring spree suggests), is he engaging in the same kind of fraudulent activities that nearly jeopardized Nevada Republicans in 2004?

We've already been catching a glimpse of suspicious activity in Colorado. And now, the Palm Beach County, Florida, election supervisor is asking her state to investigate fraudulent voter registration forms given to her office by the Florida Republican Party (which hired Nathan Sproul to handle "voter registration"). Might this be happening (again) here in Nevada?

2:45 PM UPDATE: MSNBC's First Read reported earlier today that the RNC announced it's cutting ties to Nathan Sproul. However, First Read also noted this.

Sproul, who runs both Strategic Allied Consulting and Lincoln Strategy, did not immediately respond to requests for comment from NBC News. Besides Florida, the firm has been hired to register GOP voters in Nevada, North Carolina, Colorado and Virginia. In Nevada, the RNC was paying the firm directly; in the other four states, the firm was being paid by state parties with the funds reimbursed by the RNC.

So indeed, Team Nevada was using Nathan Sproul. That explains the strange tactics they've been using at the DMV.

Oh, and First Read also provided an update on the Florida investigation.

Christine Weiss, a spokeswoman for the Palm Beach State Attorney's Office, told NBC News Thursday that the alleged voter fraud by a Strategic Allied Consulting employee is "currently being investigated" by prosecutors in her office after it was brought to the attention of prosecutors on MondaybyPalm Beach election supervisor Susan Bucher.

Paul Lux, the Okaloosa County Supervisor of Elections, and a Republican, said that an employee of the firm had dropped off suspected fraudulent registration forms with his office for both Okaloosa County and nearby Santa Rosa County. Some of the Santa Rosa County new registrants appeared to be dead people, he said.

“It’s kind of ironic that the dead people they accused ACORN of registering are now being done by the RPOF” [Republican Party of Florida], said Lux.

Out of 304 Republican voter-registration forms recently dropped off by a firm employee at a small "satellite office" of the Palm Beach elections office, 106 were flagged as potentially fraudulent -- including "a lot" with "similar looking" signatures and others with apparently phony addresses, Bucher said in an interview.

Among the suspect home addresses were those that matched a gas station in Miami, a medical building in Boca Raton and a Land Rover dealership elsewhere in South Florida, she told NBC News.

Indeed, it's ironic. The G-O-TEA forces always cry about "voter fraud", yet it increasingly looks like they are actually the ones who are committing fraud!

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