WASHINGTON – As the election approaches, the catalogue of complaints about registration and voting irregularities is already growing.
Democrats on Wednesday cried foul over a company hired by the Republican National Committee (search) that stands accused of shredding hundreds of voter registration forms filled out by Democrats in Las Vegas.
"Why is the Republican National Committee funding an organization who is ripping up voter registration forms of Democrats?" asked Democratic National Committee (search) Chairman Terry McAuliffe.
A report by Las Vegas television station KLAS-TV quoted company employees who said they witnessed the destruction of hundreds of forms from potential Democratic voters. The head of the elections division in Clark County, where the allegations surfaced, said he saw photocopies of three voter registration forms that had been shredded and then taped back together. Of the three, one person was already registered to vote in the county.
Nevada's secretary of state is investigating the allegations.
The RNC confirmed to FOX News that it had paid the company to register voters. It also released this statement: "The Republican Party has a zero tolerance policy for anything that smacks of improprieties in registering voters. Anyone who engages in fraudulent voter registration activities should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."
Nathan Sproul (search), an Arizona Republican, told FOX News that he was paid nearly $500,000 by the Republican National Committee to register voters. He subcontracted Voter Outreach of America (search), among other organizations, to get the job done in Arizona, Nevada and Oregon. Sproul said all of the subcontractors' employees are required to read and sign a "fraud policy" form that explains that tampering with a registration form is a felony and anyone found doing it will be turned over to authorities.
Sproul said all the charges are false and generated by one disgruntled employee who was fired two weeks ago for lying about the number of hours he worked. He said his company took out 4,500 blank voter registration forms in Clark County, Nev., and submitted 2,400 forms. Of those, 1,947 were registered Republican; the rest were Democratic and independent registration forms.
In Oregon, the state attorney general is investigating a similar complaint. A man who claimed to be an employee of Voter Outreach of America told a reporter for KGW-TV that he "might" throw away the forms of people who registered as Democrats. He said he was from the company's "Nevada organization." Sproul said he does not believe Mike Johnson, the man making the accusations, ever worked for the company.
The penalty for "altering" a voter registration form in Oregon is up to five years in prison and a $120,000 fine. Secretary of State Bill Bradbury (search) told FOX News that in his five years in office, he has never seen a complaint like this. Oregon has recently seen a huge increase in registered voter rolls — 200,000 in the last two years.
Oregon is the only state that operates entirely by mail-in ballot. The deadline for registering was extended until midnight Tuesday. In the 11th hour, Bradbury said thousands of registration forms were turned in, the vast majority from the Bush-Cheney campaign.
In Colorado, accusations are flying over fraudulent voter registration forms handled by the left-wing group known as ACORN. In Denver, up to 100 forms with forged names or the same names on several different forms have been detected. ACORN, which stands for Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (search), paid employees $2 per voter application.
One man said he registered 35 times to help employees earn more money. One woman admitted forging three people's names on about 40 registration forms in order to earn more money.
"You pay someone that kind of incentive for volume, their natural reaction to that is go out and get lots of volume because everyone is going to be two or three dollars," said Adams County Clerk Carol Snyder.
Colorado election officials issued a warning on Wednesday telling people if they knowingly violate election law by registering or voting fraudulently, the state will come after them.
"I will fight and hopefully make sure the DAs or the AG prosecutes those individuals," said Colorado Secretary of State Donetta Davidson (search).
In addition to Colorado, voting challenges are pending in Michigan, Ohio, Missouri, Florida, South Dakota and Pennsylvania.
In Ohio, a dispute over voter registration forms ensued over forms filled out on paper that didn't meet state standards. Threats to reject the forms were later withdrawn, but Ohio's secretary of state said he is being dogged over the provisional balloting system that he says was enacted 10 years ago.
"There are rabble rousers and anarchists who sort of thrive on confusion and chaos, like Jesse Jackson, who would rather this issue not be determined by the ballot box," said Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell (search).
Voters in 30 states, like Tennessee, which began accepting absentee ballots on Wednesday, are already casting their ballots, raising the stakes on whether rules and regulations are implemented.
Click in the video box near the top of the story to watch a report by FOX News' Major Garrett.
FOX News' Dan Springer contributed to this report.