Election Integrity: Conviction for 2018 MN Voter Fraud

Election_Integrity_button_image.jpgAlmost four years after the fraud occurred, Hennepin County Prosecutors only got a two year probation sentence for Abdihakim Amin Essa, who was alleged to have committed thirteen counts of voter fraud. Essa was convicted of four counts of voter fraud and had nine counts dismissed.

As reported by AlphaNews, Essa received a sentence of 180 days in jail, but he will not serve even that. The judge issued a stay on the short jail sentence Essa received, meaning Essa will serve no jail time.

Essa allegedly falsified thirteen ballots in 2018 by signing as a witness for 13 people from whom Essa did not have authority to sign. Essa also attempted to vote himself. Essa is not a citizen.

Essa apparently admitted he was working on behalf of a campaign.  That campaign was not publicly identified.

Hennepin County Government Center (in Minneapolis) election workers who helped catch Essa said they believed he was working for "one of two campaigns…" and that they believed his fraud was “…part of a large scheme…” and of particular concern for election integrity.

Essa admitted to “…witnessing absentee ballots by signing his father’s name because [Essa] was not a United States citizen.”

Essa was observed making several attempts to commit his fraud. Discovery of his fraud attempts necessitated reviewing over 9,000 ballots to find those with his fraudulent signatures.

This case illustrates 4 points relating to election integrity:  

1) Having alert election workers / election judges is essential.

2) Absentee ballots are a vulnerable point for fraud.

3) Prosecuting any voter fraud case requires time - both to collect evidence and for a case to work through the court system.

4) Consequences for voter fraud are generally "light" - not much of a deterrent.