Finding How to Register to Vote : Several States Offer Online Voter Registration

Voters have been able to register online for years but had to complete the process with a partially filled-out registration form that was mailed to users. Among the more innovative uses of online voter registration was developed by the state of Washington.

Voters there can register through Facebook with an app that populates the regular online form with data gleaned from a user’s Facebook account.

California, Arizona, Colorado, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Nevada, Maryland, and New York allow online registering, and Connecticut, Delaware, and Hawaii are on the path, according to Jarrett Moreno of Ourtime.

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Spread of Voter Suppression in Florida from Romney and Nathan Sproul

Nathan Sproul stands accused of destroying Democrat Registration forms in the past, has been hired by the Republican party to help Romney win in Florida and other states by fraudulent methods. He and his firm were recently fired after it was discovered what he was really up to in five US states, manipulating the vote which is a felony charge.

The Romney campaign hired a company called Strategic Allied Consulting and fired them last night when more than 100 fraudulent registration forms were found in Palm Beach County Florida. But there’s more.

Strategic Allied is a shell company operated by Nathan Sproul.

The Florida Supervisor of Elections reported the fraud which included:

1) Shredding Democrat voter registration forms in Florida and other states such as: North Carolina, Virginia and Colorado.

2) The GOP party paid this firm $667,000.00 this year to run campaigns in Florida, that would diminish democratic votes.

3) The Romney campaign hired Nathan Sproul as a political consultant last year knowing full well that he was accused of fraud in the past.

4) Election officials are investigating voter registration cards that were shredded or destroyed by the firm, and signatures were altered or changed on others.

5) Over 106 applications were flagged in a submission batch of 304 turned in on Sept 5, 2012 by the contractor of the Republican party.

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Romney Backed Voter Suppression Continues in Florida with Nathan Sproul

Nathan Sproul, who heads Strategic Allied Consulting, has a long and sordid history with the GOP, and has been accused in previous elections of suppressing Democratic voter turnout, throwing away registration forms, and manipulating ballot initiatives. So it rings false when Sean Spicer, communications director for the RNC, said the committee had “zero tolerance” for voter fraud. Sproul’s record is no secret.

Until recently, Sproul was charged with voter registration efforts in five states: Nevada, North Carolina, Virginia, Florida, and Colorado.

Sproul was caught when an employee of his firm dropped off suspected fraudulent registration forms at the office of Okaloosa County election board. Some of the Santa Rosa County new registrants appeared to be dead people, said Paul Lux, Okaloosa County Supervisor of Elections.

…Palm Beach County election supervisor Susan Bucher said 106 of the 304 forms Sproul’s firm submitted were flagged as potentially fraudulent, having “similar looking” signatures and addresses of local businesses. Bucher said she has also heard of similar fraudulent documents submitted by Sproul’s firm to another Florida elections office.

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Florida Vote Problems : Romney, Nathan Sproul and Voter Suppression

We have learned more about the investigation in to alleged voter fraud by a firm paid millions of dollars to register Republican voters in Florida. This is the firm that listed a Land Rover dealership as the address for one of the voters is claimed to have registered.

NBC News has learned:

Florida state officials have directed a statewide criminal investigation into a Republican consulting firm whose employees have been linked to “hundreds” of suspect voter registration forms in eight countries throughout the state, NBC News has learned. Chris Cate, a spokesman for the Florida secretary of state’s office, said that state election officials are turning reports of registration irregularities over to the Florida State Department of Law Enforcement for a statewide inquiry to determine if there was a pattern of misconduct by the firm, Strategic Allied Consulting. He described it as a potential case of “election fraud” probe. Cate confirmed that the secretary of state’s office, which oversees the division of elections, has received a complaint against Strategic Allied Consulting from the Florida Republican Party. Nathan Sproul, the managing partner of the firm, denied that his firm committed any fraud, saying he was the victim of “a few bad apples” who had been hired to register Mitt Romney supporters for $12 an hour.

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Urge to Purge : Romney Pushes Voter Purge and Registration Suppression With Nathan Sproul

The firm’s founder, Nathan Sproul, is a longtime Republican strategist whose reputation was tarred by widespread accusations of voter registration fraud and attempts to suppress Democratic voter turnout. George W. Bush’s campaign reportedly paid Sproul over $8 million for his work in the 2004 election. Sproul, now under new scrutiny, claims he started Strategic Allied Consulting because the RNC wanted to hide his past:

Sproul said he created Strategic Allied Consulting at the RNC’s request because the party wanted to avoid being publicly linked to the past allegations. The firm was set up at a Virginia address, and Sproul does not show up on the corporate paperwork.

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Romney Launches New Purge and Voter Suppression in Florida With Nathan Sproul

After Bucher sounded the alarm, election officials in at least 11 Florida counties said they had uncovered potentially fraudulent voter registration forms submitted on behalf of the state Republican Party.

By Friday, county election officials had found dozens of forms turned in by the party that had wrong birthdays or spellings of names that didn’t match signatures. In other cases, multiple forms were filled out in the same handwriting. One voter in Palm Beach County was registered to an address that is a Land Rover dealership.

“It was that flagrant,” said Ann W. Bodenstein, the elections supervisor in Santa Rosa County, where officials found 100 problematic applications — including one for a dead voter. “In no way did they look genuine.”

The Florida GOP had contracted out its registration efforts to a newly formed company called Strategic Allied Consulting. The Republican National Committee had urged party organizations in seven swing states to hire the firm, directing at least $3.1 million in payments to it.

The RNC and its state affiliates hastily cut ties with Strategic Allied Consulting when the first questionable forms were discovered in Palm Beach County. On Thursday, the Republican Party of Florida, which paid at least $1.3 million for the voter registration work, filed a complaint of voter fraud against the firm. And the state Division of Elections turned over the problematic forms to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

Strategic Allied is run by an Arizona-based consultant and Republican Party activist named Nathan Sproul, who has been dogged by charges in the past that his employees destroyed Democratic voter registration forms. No charges were ever filed. But his reputation is such that Sproul said RNC officials requested that he set up a new firm so the party would not be publicly linked to the past allegations. The firm was set up at a Virginia address, and Sproul does not show up on the corporate paperwork.

In a statement released Friday, Sproul said his company hired more than 2,000 people to do voter registration in Florida and thousands more nationwide. He said the questionable forms were the work of just a few individuals.

“The reason we have quality control measures in place is because we recognize that with projects this large, there will be isolated incidents of individuals trying to cheat the system,” he wrote.

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Early Voting Grows In Popularity Across the Country

MELISSA BLOCK:

So six weeks to go before Election Day, but in-person early voting has already started in a handful of states. Many others will begin soon, and more and more of us are choosing to vote early. In Colorado, for example, where we just heard from Ari Shapiro, nearly 80 percent of votes were cast early in the 2008 presidential election.

Michael McDonald tracks these trends with the U.S. Elections Project at George Mason University and he joins me now. Welcome to the program.

MICHAEL MCDONALD: Oh, thank you for having me.

BLOCK: And when you look at Colorado, would you say it’s an outlier? Are there other states that have such a high percentage of early voters?

MCDONALD: Well, Colorado offers a particular form of early voting that’s proven to be very popular in Western states and that’s a combination of allowing people to request a mail ballot for any reason whatsoever and also allowing people to permanently sign up to receive that mail ballot so they just – they sign up once and they continually receive that mail ballot in future elections.

And in states that have adopted this, Washington being another important state out in the West, what we’ve seen is an increase in early voting from election to election as more and more people choose that option to receive the ballot by mail. And so in Washington now, they essentially run their elections entirely by mail because so many people signed up for that ballot.

And in Colorado, as you said, 80 percent in 2008. We’re looking as upwards to maybe 85 percent of the ballots will be cast prior to Election Day in 2012.

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