Oregon Investigation Into Alleged Vote Fraud

Oregon officials have opened an investigation into alleged improper voter registration practices, Secretary of State Bill Bradbury said Wednesday.

The investigation follows a television report in which a paid-per-registration canvasser said he had been instructed only to accept registrations from Republicans, and that he "might" destroy those from Democrats.

It was not immediately clear what group employed the canvasser.

Bradbury said the investigation would be based not only on the KGW-TV report, but also on other complaints that have not yet been made public.

In Roseburg, Douglas County Clerk Barbara Nielsen said she had received a complaint from voters who said canvassers working for a Chandler, Ariz.-based consulting firm, Sproul & Associates, tried to push them into registering as Republicans, saying otherwise the canvassers wouldn't get paid for their efforts.

Additionally, Nielsen said she had gotten calls from voters who said canvassers from the same group had implied that their cards wouldn't be turned in if they registered as Democrats.

Sproul & Associates is run by Nathan Sproul, a former head of the Republican Party in Arizona who has subcontracted with the Republican National Committee to do voter outreach.

Reached in Arizona, Sproul told The Associated Press that "we registered anyone who wanted to register."

A spokesman for the Republican National Committee said the party has "a zero-tolerance policy for anything that smacks of impropriety in registering voters."

Similar voting fraud allegations surfaced against Sproul & Associates in Nevada, where authorities said Wednesday that they were "looking into whether any state or federal laws were violated."

In Nevada, a former employee of a Sproul & Associates group called Voter Outreach of America told reporters Wednesday that he had seen his boss shred eight to 10 Democratic registration forms.

Sproul denied any shredding occurred.