Oh my, my. The plot thickens. There were other fraudulent voter registration forms found in Lee County weeks before we ever learned about the fraudulent forms in Palm Beach, and representatives from Nathan Sproul's company were informed in person about the problems with the forms. The story first broke on Tuesday, September 25, with an article in the The Palm Beach Post informing the public about questionable voter registration forms submitted by Strategic Allied Consultants (SAC), the company the RNC hired to sign up voters in several swing states. At first, Nathan Sproul and other company representatives claimed it was the work of one rogue employee who had been fired on September 18.
By the weekend we learned that the scandal had spread. There were as many as 10 more counties where additional suspicious forms had been found, and the story changed from one individual to a few individuals being to blame. Sproul claimed that he was in regular contact with party officials and kept them apprised of the situation with fraudulent voter application forms.
The company was required to report any instances of applications being questioned by elections officials to the state party, [Florida Republican Party spokesman Brian] Burgess said.So there is a debate going on between Sproul and the Republican Party of Florida (RPOF) as to whether or not the GOP was informed about fraudulent forms being submitted.
Nathan Sproul, who owns the company, said that wasn’t true.
“Every morning, a conference call was held to discuss the project using their conference call number,” Sproul said in an e-mail. “It’s impossible for them to claim with credibility that we didn’t communicate clearly.”
Sproul said the company had 2,000 workers in Florida and that the problems were caused by a few individuals.
Republicans say they didn't hear about the flawed forms until a week later when told about them by a Palm Beach Post reporter.
But Cheryl Johnson, Lee County's voter registration director, told the Times/Herald on Tuesday that she noticed some odd applications that came quite a bit earlier, on Aug. 28. It looked like someone had checked Republican in a number of party registration boxes in a manner that didn't match the way the rest of the application was filled out. Four of the forms appeared to have been filled out by the same person.
Johnson called the person who dropped them off, a Strategic Allied Consulting employee named Danielle Alvarez. On Sept. 6 — 12 days before they learned about the Palm Beach forms — Johnson met with Alvarez and a man named Jack Reed.
"They said they were shocked," Johnson said. "They told me that they fired someone and it wouldn't happen again."
Johnson said they took copies of the questionable forms and promised they would call back. But that was the last Johnson heard from them.
It turns out that the voter registration fraud we know about wasn't the first time it came up. Why all the finger pointing about who knew what and when? In Florida, it is a third-degree felony to "willfully submit" false voter registration information, a crime punishable by up to five years in prison.
We also learn this morning that three suspicious forms were found in Pasco County. Supervisor of Elections Brian Corley explained what was found.
"If you looked at the signatures, they couldn't be any more opposite," he said.But that wasn't the only problem Corley found with voter registration forms submitted by a third party group. Oh, no, not at all. He also reported a problem with 17 forms submitted by Rock the Vote because they broke the 10 day submission rule. The GOP submitted obviously forged forms, but guess why with the forms submitted by a non-GOP group were delayed? They were lost in the mail.
Corley said the forms were dropped off with the Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections in February and then forwarded to his office for processing. The forms also contained incorrect birthdays, a misspelled name and incorrect Social Security numbers. One form incorrectly indicated the voter was switching parties.
"They were more than suspicious," Corley said. "They were fraudulent."
Amanda Brown, Rock the Vote's national political director, included a letter explaining that business reply envelopes provided by the U.S. Postal Service caused delays in the processing of the registration forms. "We have been trying to track down the envelopes; but it was only on Tuesday that the envelopes were found in a sorting facility and returned to us," she wrote.The RNC paid SAC over three million dollars to register voters for the GOP, knowing about Sproul's past scandals. And yet, they hired Nathan Sproul anyway and just asked him to create a new company to avoid those past scandals coming back to haunt them. What did they seriously think would happen this year? Did they think Sproul wouldn’t use the same tricks he’s used in the past? All of a sudden he had changed his stripes? I still want to know, why hasn't the RNC demanded its money back? And more to the point, will anybody be charged, prosecuted and sent to jail this time?
Brown asked Corley to accept the registration forms "despite the delayed submission" since the Oct. 8 deadline to register for the general election is quickly approaching.
Corley asked the Bureau of Voter Registration Services at the state Division of Elections for guidance in the matter.