WASHINGTON - Republicans on Thursday fired a vendor suspected of submitting 106 questionable new voter registrations in Florida's Palm Beach County, ground zero for disputed ballots in 2000's presidential race.
The Republican Party of Florida used Virginia-based Strategic Allied Consulting to help register and turnout voters in Florida, one of a shrinking handful of states President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney are contesting. The Florida state party had paid the firm more than $1.3 million so far, and the Republican National Committee used the group for almost $3 million of work in Nevada, North Carolina, Colorado and Virginia.
"We have zero tolerance for any threat to the integrity of elections. When we were informed of an alleged incident we immediately cut all ties to the company," RNC Communications Director Sean Spicer said.
The state party similarly sought to distance itself from the firm.
"We immediately informed the Republican National Committee that we were terminating the contract with the voter-registration vendor we hired at their request because there is no place for voter-registration fraud in Florida," state Republican Party Executive Director Mike Grissom said in a statement.
Strategic Allied Consulting said the suspected forms came from one person and the company was cooperating with elections officials in Florida.
"Strategic has a zero-tolerance policy for breaking the law," said Fred Petti, a company attorney. "Accordingly, once we learned of the irregularities in Palm Beach County, we were able to trace all questionable cards to one individual and immediately terminated our working relationship with the individual in question."