A man working for a contractor hired by the Republican Party of Virginia to register voters has been charged with dumping voter registration forms in the trash.
A local business owner in Harrisonburg, Va. reported seeing a man with Pennsylvania license plates dumping an envelope in the trash; the business owner retrieved the envelope and contacted the police.
The suspect, Colin Small has been charged with 13 felony and misdemeanor counts related to the destruction of voter registration forms.
Small had previously worked for Nathan Sproul’s Strategic Allied Consulting — a firm that has already been fired by the Republican National Committee over a voter fraud investigation in Florida. Sean Spicer, a spokesman for the RNC, told NBC News that the state party continued to employ former Strategic Allied workers after cutting ties for the firm, through the contractor Pinpoint.
In a statement, Republican Party of Virginia Chairman Pat Mullins said Small was fired as soon as the allegations came to light.
“The actions taken by this individual are a direct contradiction of both his training and explicit instructions given to him,” Mullins said. “The Republican Party of Virginia will not tolerate any action by any person that could threaten the integrity of our electoral process.”
Virginia Democratic Party Chairman Brian Moran has called for an investigation into whether Small’s actions are part of a larger voter suppression effort. “Virginians deserve answers as to how this person was still working for Republican campaigns here and whether his behavior was directed by his superiors or party officials,” he said in a statement.
The motivation behind the destruction is unclear. Virginia does not have voter registration by political party, so Small could not have known that he was throwing out Democratic forms.
“There is no indication that this activity was widespread in our jurisdiction; it appears to be very limited in nature,” the Rockingham County Sheriff’s office said in its news release.