Probe into GOP voter suppression specialist Nathan Sproul expands

Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

The Washington Post reports today that the probe into GOP voter suppression specialist Nathan Sproul has expanded into voter registration fraud. Va. probe of dumped voter registration forms broadens:

The investigation into the arrest of a man on charges of dumping
voter registration forms last month in Harrisonburg, Va., has widened,
with state officials probing whether a company tied to top Republican
leaders had engaged in voter registration fraud in the key battleground
state, according to two persons close to the case.

A former employee of Strategic Allied Consulting, a contractor
for the Republican Party of Virginia, had been scheduled to appear last
Tuesday before a grand jury after he was charged
with tossing completed registration forms into a recycling bin. But
state prosecutors canceled Colin Small’s grand jury testimony to gather
more information, with their focus expanding to the firm that had
employed Small, which is led by longtime GOP operative Nathan Sproul
.

State authorities are seeking to learn whether any of Small’s
supervisors instructed him or any of his 40 co-workers in Virginia to
ask potential voters about their political leanings during registration
drives, the two sources said. Asking such questions could be a violation
of state election law.

* * *

Sproul’s firms and political consulting operations have faced
questions over the past eight years, including investigations and formal
charges of suppressing Democratic votes, destroying voter registrations
and other election violations
. The charges against Small came a month
after voter registration work by a Sproul company prompted a fraud investigation in Florida.

Nine
Florida counties reported in September that hundreds of voter
registration forms submitted by Sproul’s firm contained irregularities
such as suspicious, conflicting signatures and missing information.

* * *

After the Florida investigation became public, the Republican National Committee said it was severing ties
with Strategic Allied Consulting. At that time, Strategic stopped
overseeing registration workers in Virginia and Pinpoint, Strategic’s
staffing contractor, began overseeing the work.

Investigators
have gathered information showing that Small asserted that he worked for
Strategic to voters, according to two persons close to the probe.

Companies created or led by Sproul have received more than $3 million
in payments from the Republican party during this election campaign.
Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign paid Sproul’s firm $71,000 late last
year for “field consulting.”

American Crossroads, the political
organization that Republican operative Karl Rove helped found, paid
Sproul’s firms $1.5 million in the week before the 2010 midterm
elections for get-out-the-vote efforts and voter phone calls, according
to a review of election records.

In total, companies led by
Sproul have received $21 million from Republican campaign committees for
voter outreach work since 2004. Much of the 2012 payments came from the
national party to pay for voter registration in the key states of
Florida, Colorado, North Carolina and Virginia.

Small, 23, of Phoenixville, Pa., was arrested Oct. 18 and charged with
eight felonies and five misdemeanors involving election fraud.

* * *

The commonwealth’s attorney had planned to question Small about his
employers and training before a special multi-jurisdiction grand jury
based in Stanton, Va., according to the two persons familiar with the
probe. But state officials changed course when they realized that
Virginia law would give Small immunity from election-law charges if he
were questioned about his superiors.

His first formal court date,
largely a formality to determine if he understands his rights to
counsel, is now scheduled for Monday.

Nathan Sproul is based in Arizona. Where is the Arizona probe into his long and sordid history of GOP voter suppression efforts since at least 2004? Oh that's right, Arizona's attorney general is under investigation by the FBI for election law violations, and Sproul did work for him on his campaign.

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