A firm working on behalf of the Republican Party of Florida has been accused of submitting potentially fraudulent voter registration forms in at least 10 counties. The claims from Florida election officials have led the state’s Republican Party to file an election fraud complaint against Strategic Allied Consulting, the firm they originally employed. The allegations have prompted controversy within the Republican National Committee, which confirmed that it had suggested the firm to state parties in seven swing states.
Strategic Allied Consulting earned at least $3.1 million from parties in Florida, Nevada, Virginia, North Carolina and Colorado to register voters and promote get-out-the-vote operations. Wisconsin and Ohio had contracted the firm as well, but has not yet paid for those services. On Thursday the RNC publically severed ties with the firm, after election officials in Palm Beach County released 106 voter registration forms to prosecutors that contained possible forgeries and other issues.
Election officials across the state are now evaluating the voter registration forms handed in by the state Republican groups to prevent further inconsistences. Florida GOP officials said that Strategic Allied Consulting did in fact submit forms with fake signatures and false information, according to their formal complaint. Vicki Davis, the president of the Florida State Assn. of Supervisors Elections said Friday that officials in Bay, Lee, Clay, Escambia, Santa Rosa and Okaloosa counties had also identified issues with Republican registration forms. In Santa Rosa specifically, election officials took issue with 100 applications out of about 400 submitted by the state Republican Party.
Ironically, Florida is one of several states that adopted new voter identification laws in order to prevent cases of voter fraud. Republicans have been the largest supporters of the law, while liberals and Democrats have argued that such strict voter regulations were discriminatory for poor and minority residents. With the discovery of the problematic registration forms, Republicans specifically are guilty of the type of fraud they sought to eliminate with voter ID laws.