The campaign manager for Republican incumbent U.S. Rep. Dan Lungren called accusations of voter registration fraud against a Republican-paid company in Sacramento County “unfortunate” Tuesday but said they had nothing to do with Lungren’s campaign.
Sacramento County elections officials say Momentum Political Services, a firm hired by the Sacramento County Republican Party, submitted thousands of inaccurate registration cards—including some where the person’s voter registration appeared to have been switched to Republican against their wishes, according to reports by News10 and The Sacramento Bee.
Increased Republican registrations could presumably help Lungren in in Congressional District 7, a swing district that covers the eastern part of the county including Elk Grove.
On Monday, the Bera campaign sent out a press release calling on Lungren to “investigate and end any involvement with the dubious organization Momentum Political Services.”
“The registration effort was not being run by the campaign,” Lungren campaign manager Jeff Wyly told Patch.
Wyly added that arrangements like Momentum’s—in which the consultant hired circulators to collect cards and was paid for each Republican registration gathered—are “a huge part of politics here in California.”
“The third-party firms really need to do their homework,” he said. “Certainly they need to do a better job of verifying signatures before they submit them to the county.”
The Sacramento County Republican Party paid Momentum Political Services about $50,000 to register new Republican voters in the county, according to News10. But at least one fourth of the 31,000 registration cards the company submitted since last September were rejected for inaccuracies, Sacramento County elections officials told the Bee.
The Bee also reported that two of the company’s employees had previous criminal records and that Registrar of Voters Jill LaVine had asked the California Secretary of State’s Office to investigate the company for possible fraud.
Jennifer Kerns, a spokesperson for the California Republican Party, said Momentum was hired for a countywide registration drive and that some of the cards collected could be from District 7, but she wasn’t sure.
What do you think of the accusations of voter registration fraud against a firm hired by the Sacramento County Republican Party? Will they affect how you view the party or Republican candidates?