The Republican National Committee has abruptly cut ties to a consulting firm hired for get-out-the-vote efforts in seven presidential election swing states after Florida prosecutors launched an investigation into possible fraud in voter registration forms. Working through state parties, the RNC has sent more than $3.1 million this year to Strategic Allied Consulting, a company formed in June by Nathan Sproul, an Arizona voting consultant. Sproul has operated other firms that have been accused in past elections of improprieties designed to help Republican candidates, including dumping registration forms filled out by Democrats, but none of those allegations led to any criminal charges.
Sean Spicer, spokesman for the RNC, said the party, has “zero tolerance” for voter fraud and cut ties to the firm on Wednesday, urging state parties to do the same. The forms in question in Florida were all submitted by one worker and were not the result of an effort to suppress votes, he said. “If you don’t do it right, it doesn’t assist us in any way,” he said.“When the allegations yesterday were brought to our attention, we severed our relationship. We acted swiftly and boldly.”
Strategic Allied Consulting was hired to do voter registration drives in Florida, Virginia, Colorado, North Carolina and Nevada, and had been planning get-out-the-vote drives in Ohio and Wisconsin, according to Sproul. Sproul owns another company, Lincoln Strategy Group, that was paid about $70,000 by the Mitt Romney campaign during the primaries to gather signatures. He said he created Strategic Allied Consulting at the request of the Republican National Committee because of the bad publicity stemming from the past allegations. In 2004, there were allegations in states such as Nevada and Oregon that employees of his firm — which had a similar contract with the RNC — registered Democratic voters and then destroyed their forms. (Sproul noted that no criminal charges were ever filed.)