Mon October 1, 2012
GOP-Hired Company Also Suspected Of Faking Registrations In Mecklenburg
North Carolina election officials are asking counties to double check their voting registrations. That comes after Mecklenburg County found questionable registrations turned in by Strategic Allied Consulting, the company hired by the Republican Party and accused of submitting fake registrations in Florida.
The Mecklenburg County Board of Elections caught wind of some fishy registrations two weeks ago.
"We got a couple of concerns from voters - one or two the first week, one or two the second week - that something didn’t seem right," said Director of Elections Michael Dickerson. "One said that their children couldn’t have filled out this application because they are away at college. And a couple of signatures just do not match up."
Dickerson said his office determined those forms came from Strategic Allied Consulting. That’s the company the Republican National Committee hired to sign up voters in five battleground states. But the RNC fired the company last week when it found out it may have turned in more than 100 fake registrations in Florida.
Dickerson said Mecklenburg County has found six questionable registrations so far.
"And we’ll be forwarding these down to Raleigh for the state Board of Elections investigator to look at," Dickerson said.
Gary Bartlett, executive director of the state Board of Elections, says Mecklenburg is the only county that's reported questionable voter registrations.
"But we have asked the counties to go back and take a second look to ensure that nothing was missed," Bartlett said.
The whole thing is somewhat of an embarrassment for the GOP. After all, Republican legislators in several states have used fears of voter fraud to push through new voter I.D. laws.
But Bartlett points out that shady voter registrations are a bipartisan problem. You may remember, for example, Republicans accusing ACORN of submitting fake voter forms in 2008.
"This comes up every election," Bartlett said. "It’s not necessarily only Strategic Allied Consulting, but it’s other advocacy groups for both sides."
Bartlett said part of the problem is that some advocacy groups get paid based on how many registrations they turn in for one party or the other. But he said most of the groups still do a good job.
If the state board of elections finds the questionable Strategic Allied Consulting forms are, in fact, fake, Bartlett said the board will turn them over to the district attorney.