Pennsylvania State Police widen probe of voter registration company

State police on Thursday widened their investigation of possible voter registration fraud in Pennsylvania, raiding the Philadelphia office of a grassroots organization that works with Democrats, while election officials in the suburbs questioned the validity of thousands of last-minute applications submitted by the company.

The state probe involves voter registrations gathered by Washington, D.C.-based FieldWorks LLC, a 15-year-old company that has worked with a wide range of Democratic and progressive groups around the country.

State police arrived at FieldWorks’ Philadelphia office with a search warrant Thursday night, less than a week after raiding the company’s location in suburban Delaware County, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported. In court papers, agents said they were looking for evidence of “fraudulent voter registration forms.”

The Delaware County Voter Registration Commission, meanwhile, scheduled a hearing for today to determine whether applications gathered by FieldWorks were submitted by an Oct. 11 state deadline to register for next week’s election. The applications were rife with errors, election officials said.

“We are trying to get to the bottom of whether these should be on the (voter) rolls or not,” Delaware County Solicitor Michael Maddren said Thursday.

FieldWorks submitted 7,000 voter registration applications to the Pennsylvania Department of State, which sent them in batches to Delaware County on Oct. 14 and 17 without providing any evidence they had been turned in on time, Maddren said.

“We have a real issue on our hands,” he said. “We’ve asked the Department of State to appear and explain themselves” at the commission hearing.

Department of State spokeswoman Wanda Murren insisted FieldWorks had submitted the applications by Oct. 11.

“If they were not timely received or postmarked, we would not send them to any county,” she said in a statement.