A Virginia judge has dismissed eight felony counts against a Republican Party campaign worker who threw voter registration forms in a dumpster. Colin Small, 23, still faces misdemeanor charges related to the incident in October, according to his lawyer, John Holloran of Harrisonburg, Va. But the felonies were thrown out during a preliminary hearing Tuesday, Holloran said in an interview. “I think they charged it three days after the event and thought it was the tip of the iceberg and that there was this huge voter fraud conspiracy that was occurring,” Holloran said. But a grand jury investigation turned up no other evidence of fraud. The next hearing in the case is set for April 16.
The investigation into the arrest of a man on charges of dumping voter registration forms last month in Harrisonburg, Va., has widened, with state officials probing whether a company tied to top Republican leaders had engaged in voter registration fraud in the key battleground state, according to two persons close to the case. A former employee of Strategic Allied Consulting, a contractor for the Republican Party of Virginia, had been scheduled to appear last Tuesday before a grand jury after he was charged with tossing completed registration forms into a recycling bin. But state prosecutors canceled Colin Small’s grand jury testimony to gather more information, with their focus expanding to the firm that had employed Small, which is led by longtime GOP operative Nathan Sproul.
A man who was being paid to register voters by the Republican Party of Virginia was arrested Thursday after he was seen dumping eight registration forms into a dumpster. Colin Small, 31, was working as a supervisor as part of a registration operation in eight swing states financed by the Republican National Committee. Small, of Phoenixville, Pa., was first hired by Strategic Allied Consulting, a firm that was fired by the party after suspect voter forms surfaced in Florida and other states. The owner of a store in Harrisonburg, Va., told a local television station that he became suspicious when he saw a car with Pennsylvania plates dump an envelope in back of his store. He recovered the envelope and alerted authorities. “He made a mistake and he’s being charged with it, which we fully support,” said Sean Spicer, a spokesman for the Republican National Committee. The committee paid more than $3 million to state committees to finance the get-out-the-vote operation.