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FDLE Looks Into Questionable Voter Registration Forms

The Florida Democratic Party wants to block the state’s Republican Party from registering voters. The move comes after officials found suspicious voter registration forms in about 10 counties across the state.

Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections, Susan Bucher was one of the first to notice the suspect forms. She says her staff noticed pieces of information missing on a number of the forms. Others were filled out using the same handwriting.

“In some cases they were trying to re-register people to commercial addresses or the date of birth was wrong,"  Bucher said.

She found 106 questionable documents in her county and more were found in several other counties across the state. Problems include things like mismatched handwriting and bogus addresses.

The suspect ballots all stem from the same third party voter registration group, Strategic Allied Consulting. The Republican Party of Florida and the Republican National Committee hired the group, which conducted voter registration drives in several other states for the party. Now, Republican Party of Florida Spokesman Brian Burgess said they’ve fired the company.

“Whenever you, put financial incentives behind it, some people, if they lack integrity, may be tempted to engage in fraud and I think that’s what happened here. It’s unfortunate that it happened to this company, but we just can’t tolerate it," Burgess said.

Some have raised questions about how the company’s employees were paid—saying they might have been enticed to turn in incomplete or false forms because of a quota, but Strategic Allied officials says their employees are paid hourly, with no quota. The company also said in a statement that it has a zero tolerance policy for even "minimal violations of elections laws."  Meanwhile the Florida Democratic Party blames the Republican Party of Florida for the questionable registrations. Scott Aceneaux is the executive director of the Florida Democratic Party.

“Clearly they need to take responsibility for the actions of the company they hired to do voter registration," Aceneaux said.

For more news updates, follow Regan McCarthy on twitter @Regan_McCarthy.

Follow @Regan_McCarthy

Regan McCarthy is the Assistant News Director for WFSU Public Media. Before coming to Tallahassee, Regan graduated with honors from Indiana University’s Ernie Pyle School of Journalism. She worked for several years for NPR member station WFIU in Bloomington, Ind., where she covered local and state government and produced feature and community stories.

Phone: (850) 645-6090 | rmccarthy@fsu.edu

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