As the fight over voter identification laws continues to rage across the country, the ranking Democrat on the House Oversight Committee is asking for more information from the head of the firm recently ousted by the Republican National Committee over allegations of voter registration fraud.
Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) sent a letter to the head of a GOP consulting firm that was booted by the RNC last week, requesting documents and a transcribed interviews related to new allegations of irregularities with the firm’s voter registration activities in up to 10 Florida counties.
Nathan Sproul’s firm, Strategic Allied Consulting, was reportedly paid nearly $3 million by the RNC to register voters in seven battleground states for the November elections. Last week, though, Florida election officials said they were investigating what might be hundreds of cases of suspected voter fraud by the firm, according to NBC News. Allegations center on workers registering scores of fraudulent voters, including Florida citizens who are dead, Cummings’ letter states.
Sproul has faced allegations of suppressing Democratic voter turnout before, with Sproul working during the George W. Bush and John McCain campaigns. In 2004, Democratic lawmakers asked then-Attorney General John Ashcroft to look into allegations that Sproul’s previous firms had thrown away Democratic registration forms. No criminal charges were filed then.
“Instead of the RNC having ‘zero tolerance’ for voter fraud, you claimed that RNC officials asked you to form your new company, Strategic Allied Consulting, in June for the specific purpose of concealing your connections to these previous allegations,” Cummings wrote in the letter. “In a blunt concession, you reportedly stated that you ‘created Strategic Allied Consulting at the request of the Republican National Committee because of the bad publicity stemming from past allegations.’ ”
After allegations surfaced last week, the RNC chucked Sproul’s firm, with a spokesman saying, ”we’ve made it pretty clear we’re not doing business with these guys anymore.”
Voter fraud has become a pet issue for Republicans in recent months with a spate of new voter identification laws. The Justice Department has been flayed by some GOP lawmakers for its challenges to a number of new voter identification laws in states across the country. The laws, cropping up in state’s with Republican-majority legislatures, were put in place to root out voter fraud, many GOP lawmakers say. But some Democratic lawmakers have said the laws are an effort to keep large swaths of the population from voting in November and biasing the turnout toward Republican voters. The department has challenged the laws under the auspices of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, examining whether the laws unfairly discriminate against minority, poor and student voters. Challenges in South Carolina and Pennsylvania are still ongoing, and the department won a big case against Texas earlier this summer.