The Minneapolis police have started investigating the charges of voter fraud against Ilhan Abdullahi Omar, the U.S. Representative for Minnesota's 5th congressional district. The probe began after the American right-wing activist group Project Veritas claimed that Omar's supporters were ballot harvesting and released an undercover video.
In the video, Omar Jamal, a Somali political operative, is seen telling that those in the video having illegal ballots support Omar. Ballot harvesting, which is also known as ballot collection, is used by third parties to collect ballots on behalf of physically-impaired voters. It is legal in more than half of US states but Republicans have said that this can lead to voter fraud.
Trump Trailing Biden in Minnesota?
Founder of the Project Veritas, James O'Keefe, has said that one of the supporters of Omar, Liban Mohamed, a resident of Minneapolis illegally collected some 300 ballots from Somali immigrants. He termed it as illegal as under Minnesota state law, one person can collect only three absentee ballots. However, Mohamed took to twitter to accuse O'Keefe of spreading fake news.
The claims have garnered interest as Minnesota is considered a swing state that can crucially influence the results of the upcoming presidential election. News site FiveThirtyEight had recently released statistics that Joe Biden is leading by six points in Minnesota against Republic candidate Trump.
The preliminary probe has not found any direct evidence of Omar's involvement in the votes rigging in the videos shared by O'Keefe. Reacting to the news, Jeremy Slevin, senior communications director for Omar, compared the amount of truth of the videos to the amount paid by Trump in taxes. "The amount of truth to this story is equal to the amount Donald Trump paid in taxes of ten out of the last fifteen years: zero," reported Daily Mail.
The police also took to Twitter to state that the MPD was 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," the tweet read.
Trump vs Omar
Trump reacted to the news in the midnight and demanded investigation into the case. "This is totally illegal," tweeted Trump while sharing the Project Veritas video. Trump also said that if this is not seriously reviewed, he will win Minnesota. Meanwhile, reports claim that Project Veritas is known for producing deceptively edited videos about media organizations and left-leaning groups.
Omar responded to Trump with a meme showing a Deal or No Deal box being opened, showing $750 – which is the amount of federal income tax Trump is said to have paid in the first year after becoming the president.
Ilhan Abdullahi Omar is serving as the U.S. Representative for Minnesota's since 2019. She is the first American of Somlai descent to hold the office from Minnesota. Netizens have come to Omar's rescue and have supported her. One of the commenters asks why people are talking about rigging of 5,000 votes when Omar won with a margin of 35,000 votes.