Pennsylvania resident Colin Small was arrested Thursday after he was caught illegally destroying voter registration forms in Virginia. Smalls worked for a firm hired by the Republican Party of Virginia to register voters, but was spotted throwing away 8 voter registration forms in a dumpster on Monday, the deadline for registering to vote in Virginia.
The 31-year-old man was charged with four counts of destruction of voter registration applications, eight counts of failing to disclose voter registration applications and one count of obstruction of justice. Small was spotted by the owner of a store in Harrisonburg, Virginia, who became suspicious when he saw Small’s Pennsylvania license plate.
The Los Angeles Times has the details of the discarded forms:
Three of the voters turned out to be already registered, according to Donald Palmer, secretary of the Virginia State Board of Elections. The other five were not registered, and have since been added to the voter roll. Registration closed on Monday.
In Virginia, and other states, it’s a crime to accept a voter registration form and not turn it in. Small is charged with destroying voter registration applications and obstruction of justice.
“There is no indication this activity was widespread in our jurisdiction,” said a statement from the Rockingham County Sheriff’s Office. The investigation is continuing, the sheriff’s office said.
Small worked for Strategic Allied Consulting, a registration firm now being investigated for submitting fraudulent registration forms in Florida. The Republican National Committee paid more than $3 million to SAC but quickly cut ties once the fraud came to light. As for Small, Virginia Republican Chairman Pat Mullins said he was fired as soon as the allegations surfaced. RNC spokesman Sean Spicer said Small had “made a mistake” and that the RNC “fully supports” the charges against him.
Though this is now the second criminal investigation against voter registration employees hired by the Republican Party, it hasn’t halted the shady registration practices still operating in at least ten states.