Florida opened a criminal probe Wednesday into Strategic Allied Consulting, the firm hired by the Republican Party to register new voters.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement said there was enough evidence to warrant a full-blown investigation of Strategic Allied, a Virginia-based voter registration company doing work for the Republican National Committee and the Republican Party of Florida, Reuters reported.

The Florida Division of Elections on Friday forwarded a complaint to the law enforcement agency after reports of suspicious voter registration forms linked to the company surfaced in Palm Beach County.

Both the RNC and Florida party cut ties with the company as soon as the allegations surfaced last week, and the number of counties reporting suspicious registration forms connected to Strategic Allied Consulting has since hit at least 10.

Of all the closely contested battleground states in the presidential election, Florida is the biggest prize with 29 of the 270 electoral college votes needed to win.

"After reviewing this complaint, FDLE has decided that a criminal investigation into these allegations is warranted," said spokeswoman Gretl Plessinger in an email. "This is now an active investigation."

 

The Florida Department of State also sent an e-mail to the state's 67 county supervisors of elections late on Tuesday instructing them to review all the voter registration forms filed by the Republican party.

"At some point, these registrations may become evidence used in court, so it is important for you to take steps to protect them from tampering," the email said.