Company tied to Republican Party investigated for voter registration fraud

Suspicious voter registration forms found in 10 counties, including Clay, Duval

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - A company that received $1.3 million from the Republican Party of Florida is being investigated for voter registration fraud, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement said.

The FDLE said it launched the criminal investigation after reviewing hundreds of suspect voter registration forms submitted in at least 10 counties by Strategic Allied Consulting.

The department will not confirm how many counties or registration forms are involved, but a source with knowledge of the investigation said about 200 registration forms were reviewed.

Strategic Allied Consulting said its contractors are responsible for any questionable form submissions. The company cited a training video it gives to contractors as evidence that it told them, as the video says, "You may not modify the registration form."

Problems with forms first surfaced in Palm Beach County, but quickly spread to the panhandle and nine other counties, including Clay and Duval.

Ron Labasky, an attorney for the Supervisors of Elections Association, represents all of the supervisors and said their training helped them pinpoint the problems.

"In many instances throughout the state and counties that have found these to be problematic, there was identical or very similar handwriting on the forms," Labasky said.

According to its web site, the company has never tolerated even minimal violations, but companies tied to Strategic Allied's owner have been investigated before.

Palm Beach elections supervisor Susan Bucher said the law ought to provide a way to segregate forms brought in by companies and groups.

"I think one of the things I'd like to see is an identifier number go up on the voter record," said Bucher.

Each bogus voter registration form could result in a felony charge punishable by up to five years in jail and a $5,000 fine.

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