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Election officials look into possible voter fraud

8:11 PM, Oct 2, 2012   |    comments
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New Port Richey, FL- Election officials across Florida are keeping an eye out for any voter fraud after a voter registration company hired by the Republican Party of Florida may have filed hundreds of fraudulent voter registration forms. The GOP fired Strategic Allied Consultants last week.

Strategic posted this statement on its website yesterday specifically addressing issues in Florida, saying the company "continues to cooperate fully with county elections officials" and while it has been investigated in the past, "In every instance, our company and its affiliates have been cleared of any wrongdoing."

A spokesperson with the Hillsborough Supervisor of Elections office says they have not had any fraudulent voter registration applications. To be sure, they are manually double checking all of its voter registration forms with a Republican Party affiliation, all 2,974. Election officials in Pinellas and Polk have not seen any voter fraud but that's not the case in Pasco.

"The first clue was that the Date of Birth did not match up," says Brian Corley, the Supervisor of Elections for Pasco County. He explains all the inconsistencies in three voter registration forms filed in February. Corley says, "The last four numbers of the social security did not match up. The first name is misspelled common name Brian. Also the signature does not match."

The three applications use the names of existing voters; the names have been blacked out to keep their identities private. Corley says two voters are already Republicans.

Corley says, "It's sloppy; at a minimum unethical, at a maximum illegal."

Corley sent the three applications to the State Attorney's Office. The applications may have been fraudulently filed by Strategic Allied Consultants, but Corley can't be sure because the Republican Party of Florida hired the group in July, and the applications were filed in February.  And all third party voter registration groups are required by law to have an I.D. number. Strategic Allied uses the GOP's identification number, making it tougher to track who filled out the application.

Corley says, "On the back of each application is a voter registration I.D. number. In this case, it's 3P11-93, which goes back to the Republican Party of Florida."

So far the number of fraudulent applications statewide possibly connected to Strategic Allied are in the hundreds.

Pasco's Supervisor of Elections say voters complained this past weekend that they received calls, even had people come to their home, pretending to be from the elections office telling them they are not registered to vote.

Corley says one group "Organizing for America" out of President Obama's campaign has been calling voters telling them early voting has begun.

When in doubt about your voting status, election officials say call your local elections office.

Isabel Mascarenas

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