TALLAHASSEE, Fla (AP):
What first appeared to be an isolated problem in one Florida county has now spread state-wide, with election officials in nine counties informing prosecutors or state election officials about questionable voter registration forms filled out on behalf of the Republican Party of Florida.
State Republican officials already have fired the vendor it had hired to register voters, and took the additional step of filing an election fraud complaint against the company, Strategic Allied Consulting, with state officials.
That complaint was handed over last Friday to state law-enforcement authorities.
Florida is the battleground state where past election problems led to the chaotic recount that followed the 2000 presidential election.
The Florida Democratic Party called on the state to "revoke" the ability of state Republicans to continue to register voters while the investigation continues. October 9 is the deadline to register to vote in the November 6 presidential election.
"It is clear that the Republican Party of Florida does not have the institutional controls in place to be trusted as a third-party, voter registration organisation," said Scott Arceneaux, executive director of the Florida Democratic Party.
The Republican Party of Florida has paid Strategic Allied Consulting more than $1.3 million, and the Republican National Committee used the group for work in Nevada, North Carolina, Colorado and Virginia.
The company said earlier this week that it was cooperating with election officials in Florida. It initially said the suspect forms were turned in by one person, who has been fired.