Well, well, well … perhaps all isn’t entirely lost in the Twin Cities after all. Yesterday morning, Project Veritas released an exposé of potentially large-scale ballot-harvesting fraud in Minneapolis’ Somali community, complete with social-media video bragging about it. “It’s an open secret,” Ramsey County Sheriff deputy Omar Jamal told James O’Keefe, even though no one in Minneapolis or Hennepin County seemed interested in stopping it.
Until yesterday evening, that is. The Minneapolis Police Department issued a statement declaring that the PV allegations were now “being evaluated,” which is at least an improvement over “being ignored”:
ALLEGATIONS OF VOTER FRAUD BEING EVALUATED. ✅ The MPD is aware of the allegations of vote harvesting. We are in the process of looking into the validity of those statements. No further information is available at this time on this.
— Minneapolis Police (@MinneapolisPD) September 28, 2020
Speaking of being ignored, the local media seems to have snapped out of it. The Star Tribune actually covered it, although they turned it into a “Trump and GOP pounce” piece:
President Donald Trump and Republican lawmakers in Minnesota called for an investigation Monday into a conservative activist group’s allegations of illegal mail-in ballot “harvesting” in a special Minneapolis City Council election this summer.
A spokesman for the Minneapolis Police Department said they were “in the process of looking into the validity” of the group’s statements. Meanwhile the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office said it was made aware of the allegations in the media but had received no information or cases involving so-called ballot harvesting in any elections held this year.
With just five weeks until the Nov. 3 election, Republicans seized on the mail-in fraud allegations in the city’s August primary to question the security of the no-excuse absentee voting system for the general election, which started on Sept. 18.
The allegations, brought by the conservative activist group Project Veritas, come as Trump and his GOP allies have intensified their criticism of mail-in voting, which has grown in popularity across the nation in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Election experts say there has been no evidence of widespread voter fraud in the U.S., although Trump has used the issue to already cast doubt on the results of the presidential election.
No evidence of widespread voter fraud? Maybe, but that’s a term that is pretty elastic. In the context of Minneapolis, however, the bragging caught on tape of the scale of illegal ballot harvesting looks large enough. If that doesn’t convince people, then perhaps the new undercover video from Project Veritas will. It features an actual cash payment for ballots:
In part two of an explosive exposé, a Minnesota-based source tells Project Veritas that the mastermind behind the rampant voter fraud scheme is Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) herself and her extensive political machine. …
A Minneapolis ballot harvester was recorded with a hidden camera describing how the operatives make sure the voters vote correctly by walking into the booth with the voter.
“They help us at the voting booth. They allow them to help us,” the ballot harvester said. “They go inside with us and help us, and they actually do that inside there.”
The ballot harvester said there is no confusion. The operatives doing the voting: “They actually are the ones who vote, people don’t usually — they do the voting.”
How bad has it gotten? There’s now a cash competition for votes in MN-05, but there’s not much honor among thieves:
In the Aug. 11 Democratic Primary, Congresswoman Omar’s opponent Antone Meton-Meaux reportedly paid for votes.
“The black guy [Meton-Meaux] has most of the money, but we took the money from him and we voted for Ilhan,” said Osman Ali Dahquane, a Minneapolis taxi driver involved in local vote buying schemes.
There is far too much for us to excerpt here, so be sure to watch the whole video. According to the sources on PV’s tape, Ilhan Omar’s campaign is going as far as entering the voting booth and marking the ballots themselves, and paying the voters on their way home. The money is allegedly coming from a Palestinian businessman hoping to undermine support in Congress for Israel, which if true might be veeeerrrry interesting to the Department of Justice.
As O’Keefe notes near the end, though, that still raises questions as to why no one has been curious enough until now to investigate this “open secret.” Why didn’t the Strib do this kind of investigative journalism in its own back yard? Why did it take Project Veritas to get the attention of Minneapolis police, especially when a Ramsey County Sheriff deputy was already raising the alarm? Why are Hennepin County and the state of Minnesota doing something about this?
I think we all know the answers to those questions — because the scheme benefited their preferred politicians and politics. If the police are interested now, it might be because they no longer prefer either of those after this summer’s attempt to abolish their department. Don’t expect Keith Ellison to take any interest, though. This will have to get attention above the state level for any real action at all.