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Republicans fire firm accused of voter registration fraud

Franco Ordonez,McClatchy Newspapers (MCT) • Sep 28, 2012 at 1:52 AM

WASHINGTON — The Republican National Committee on Thursday fired a firm it had hired to register voters in several battleground states after allegations of voter registration fraud.Strategic Allied Consulting was first fired in Florida after the Palm Beach County election supervisor flagged more than 100 applications turned in by the company that staff noticed had similar looking signatures and wrong birth dates.The national committee followed suit and instructed remaining state parties with contracts to also fire the company.It had been registering voters in Florida, North Carolina, Colorado, Nevada and Virginia. The Republican Party had paid the Virginia-based Strategic Allied Consulting $2.9 million this year, according to federal election records.“We have zero tolerance for any threat to the integrity of elections,” said Sean Spicer, communications director for the RNC. “When we were informed of an alleged incident we immediately cut all ties to the company.”Rob Lockwood, a spokesman for the North Carolina Republican Party, said, “The NCGOP takes any threat to the voting process very seriously. We have terminated our relationship with Strategic Allied Consultants.”An attorney for the Strategic Allied Consulting, Fred Petti, said the firm has a “zero tolerance” policy for breaking the law. He said the company was able to trace all questionable cards to one individual, who was immediately fired. Petti said the company is cooperating with Florida election officials.Susan Bucher, the supervisor of elections for Palm Beach County, turned over the questionable applications to local prosecutors.The case was a potential embarrassment for Republicans, who have helped pass several state laws to combat fraud. Democrats have long been under fire for its work with groups such as ACORN, which has also been accused of fraudulently registering voters.———©2012 McClatchy Washington BureauVisit the McClatchy Washington Bureau at www.mcclatchydc.comDistributed by MCT Information Services

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