The Republicans warned America about the dangers of voter fraud and worked to pass various laws allegedly aimed at countering the microscopic level of fraud that has occurred. However, while the eyes of the Republican guardians of the republic were gazing outward, treachery was occurring within the walls of their own political castle.
In a scenario that will remind some folks of the 2008 ACORN incident, Strategic Allied Consulting is being investigated for fraud in multiple Florida counties (10 at last count). The company is run by Republican consultant Nathan Sproul. The Republican party apparently paid the company $2.9 million to run voter registration drives in the swing states of Colorado, Florida, Nevada, North Carolina and Virginia.
The first signs of fraud appeared in Palm Beach County in my state of Florida. 108 potentially fraudulent forms were found among those submitted by Strategic Allied Consulting. The fraud was hardly masterful-for example, one of the addresses used was that of a gas station. In other counties, there are reports of dead people registering to vote. This suggests either fraud or the start of the zombie apocalypse.
While Romney has tried to distance himself from Sproul, but there are clear links. Romney’s campaign paid another one of Sproul’s firms (Lincoln Strategy Group) $80,000 for signature gathering services, apparently in 2011. In 2012 Romney’s campaign paid a much smaller amount ($889.44) to Lincoln Strategy group for rent and utilities.
Interestingly, Sproul has also been accused of tampering with Democratic voter registration forms in various states over the years. For example, there were accusations that the forms filled out by Democrats were discarded by the company.
In addition to Florida, Colorado has seen questionable activities by Strategic Allied Consulting. The Republican party in that state payed Sproul’s company $466,643. There are also concerns about his company’s activities in his own state of Arizona.
Just as the ACORN scandals had their video, the current scandal has its defining YouTube video:
When ACORN was under attack for alleged voter fraud and other problems, I wrote a series of posts on these matters. Being a consistent person, I am applying the same standards to the current incident. In fact, I can copy and paste my original post on ACORN and then modify it just a bit.
The claim that SAC has turned in fake voter registration forms seems to be true. It is, however, important to keep the following fact in mind: by law, SAC cannot decide what forms it will turn in to the officials. After all, it is not up to SAC or other such voter registration organizations to decide which forms are valid and which are fakes. That is the responsibility of the state. As such, if fraudulent forms are turned into SAC, they must be turned in to the state. Of course, there is concern about why SAC has apparently gathered so many fraudulent forms. There is also the concern that SAC seems to have been attempting to register only Romney voters.
One possibility is that people in SAC intended to engage in voter fraud by creating a number of fake voter identities and then using them to influence the election. This practice is not unheard of. After all, it used to be joked that the dead were a major voting block in Chicago. As such, it is reasonable to be concerned about attempts at voter fraud. In support of this is the fact that SAC was paid millions of dollars by the Republican party and it would be somewhat odd if they did not expect that their spending would yield them an advantage. While the Republican party has severed ties with SAC and condemned the company, the complete facts are yet to be determined.
Of course, there is a big difference between turning in fake voter registration forms and actual voting fraud. For a fake form to enable someone to vote, the form would have to get past the verification process. Further, the person going to cast the vote under a fake identity would need the documentation to support this false identity. As such, if SAC was going to conduct voter fraud, they would need to take steps to get the fake registrations through the verification process and then get the fake voters through the verification process at the polls. However, some of the fake forms allegedly turned in by SAC were rather easily spotted. As such, either SACS was not involved in a conspiracy or it was a rather lame one. Then again, perhaps there are fake forms that were cleverly filled out and managed to get through the verification process. This does remain a possibility.
As second possibility is that certain people employed by SACS created fraudulent voter forms on their own and turned them in to SACS. Since people are paid to register people to vote and going around to register real voters can be a lot of work, there is a clear incentive for some unethical people to simply fill out forms on their own. As such, some of the fraudulent forms can be explained in this manner without there being a conspiracy on the part of SACS. While this might get SACS off one hook, it does raise concerns about who SACS hires and what steps are taken to ensure that these people follow the law and are properly educated in the process. Given the evidence of fraud, it is clear that SAC and other organizations need to take steps to deal with this problem.
It will be interesting to see what Fox News says about this matter. Given their harsh criticism of ACORN, they should be equally harsh with SACs.