Posted: Sep 29, 2012 11:46 PM by Jacqui Heinrich
We've learned the girl filmed in a viral YouTube video while registering voters at a local grocery store was employed by a company just dumped by the Republican National Committee over allegations of voter fraud.
The video got a half-million views in just a few days, becoming an overnight Internet sensation with national attention. The girl gathering voter registrations claimed she was working for the El Paso County Clerk & Recorder's Office, and said at one point she preferred to register only Mitt Romney supporters. After speaking with local party heads and campaign officials, it was determined the girl was not working for the county clerk, but for a consulting firm hired by the state GOP.
Eli Bremer, chairman of the El Paso County Republicans, explained to News 5 that it was the girl's first day on the job, and said she misspoke when asked who was "paying her". Wayne Williams, the El Paso County Clerk & Recorder, also confirmed that what she was doing-- prescreening voters with preference questions before offering a voter registration form-- was not illegal.
The girl worked for Strategic Allied Consulting, a firm hired by the Republican National Committee to gather voter registrations in five battleground states including Colorado. The group was just fired by the RNC after investigators in Florida determined the company's employees had been turning in phony voter registration forms with 'voter' addresses actually belonging to car dealerships and medical buildings.
Ryan Mahoney, a spokesperson for the Republican National Committee, said in a statement to News 5, "We have zero tolerance for any threat to the integrity of elections. We have therefore cut ties with Strategic Allied Consultants and urge state parties to do the same."
The Colorado Republican Committee followed suit. Justin Miller, Communications Director for the group, told News 5 that they'd hired Strategic Allied Consultants at the direction of the RNC. Miller wrote to News 5's Jacqui Heinrich, "The Colorado Republican Party takes any threat to the voting process very seriously. Following an alleged incident by an employee of Strategic Allied Consultants we terminated our relationship."
It's not the first time Nathan Sproul, owner of Strategic Allied Consulting, has been accused of shady dealings. In 2004 and 2008 his firms-- formerly known as Sproul & Associates, Lincoln Strategy, and Strategic Allied Consultants--were accused of throwing out Democratic registration forms and manipulating ballots. Democratic Senators Leahy and Kennedy sent a letter to then Attorney General John Ashcroft requesting he "launch an immediate investigation into the activities of Mr. Sproul and his firm", according to an NBC report. The request did not lead to any criminal charges against Sproul. Late Saturday night, Strategic Allied Consulting's website was taken down and replaced with a statement acknowledging the new fraud allegations.
The girl in the video won't be doing voter registrations here in Colorado anymore; she quit her job after the YouTube video was released, claiming she was scared for her safety in light of nasty comments posted on the page by viewers. After the recent Florida incident, her co-workers from Strategic Allied Consulting won't be hitting the Colorado streets either.
News 5 asked Wayne Williams if there were any cases of voter registration in El Paso County or Colorado; he said there were none known at this time. The question remains in the other four states Strategic was working, as more phony forms are still being uncovered.