Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) wants to know what a longtime Republican elections consultant knew about voter registration fraud in Florida and when he knew it.
The ranking Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Cummings wants Nathan Sproul of Strategic Allied Consulting (SAC) Oct. 12 to explain to the committee staff what the veteran GOP operative knows about possible voter registration fraud in several counties in Florida on the eve of the 2012 general election.
"I have grave concerns not just about the Republican National Committee’s decision to retain this company, but also about what the company has allegedly done," Cummings told the Miami Herald/Times Oct 2.
Sproul had been hired by the Republican Party to conduct voter registration in the state. But state officials have called into question registration cards from nine counties, including Palm Beach and Santa Rosa, after finding an alarming number of false and incomplete registration cards.
Some of the forms were dismissed after state authorities found that, for some of the registrants, the last known Florida address is a cemetery.
The party has now repudiated SAC and Sproul, a regular contractor on the Republican National Committee (RNC) payroll for years.
In his letter to Sproul, Cummings cited registration cards with “similar signatures and apparently phony addresses, including a gas station in Miami, a medical building in Boca Raton, and an automobile dealership in Palm Beach County.”
Cummings also said he wanted all “copies of communications,” between SAC and the RNC, as well as copies of any and all materials used to train employees and register voters.
In an Oct. 1 statement, Cummings said the RNC asked Sproul to form his new company earlier this year to hide any connections to past allegations of voter registration fraud by his companies dating back to 2004.
SAC said on its website that charges of bad registrations are ultimately unavoidable and that the “isolated instances” have been investigated both by SAC officials and the proper legal authorities.
“Strategic Allied Consulting has never tolerated even minimal violations of election law when registering voters,” said the company’s statement. “Because of this commitment to zero tolerance, Strategic Allied Consulting has trained every one of our more than 4,000 contractors in proper voter registration procedures before they hit the street.”
Prior to being hired, SAC employees must complete a background check and undergo training on how to properly register voters.
SAC placed all the blame for the faulty registration cards on a lone employee who was fired on Sept. 18.
The worker was found out after the signatures on the cards submitted, mostly re-registrations, were compared to the original registration forms already on file, according to an affidavit and termination letter disclosed by SAC.
The company was hired by the RNC four months ago to conduct voter registration in seven swing states for the upcoming November elections.