A federal jury found a Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party campaign volunteer guilty of lying to a grand jury amid a voter fraud probe, claiming he submitted absentee ballots at the request of three individuals who, according to prosecutors, did not give him ballots to submit.
On Tuesday, the jury, comprised of ten women and two men, convicted Muse Mohamud Mohamed of two counts of making false statements to a grand jury, some 40 minutes after deliberations began, Minnesota Public Radio reports.
According to the outlet:
Prosecutors said that Mohamed, who worked on DFL State Sen. Omar Fateh’s primary campaign, sent absentee ballots to the Minneapolis elections office on behalf of three people.
In September and October, Mohamed told a grand jury investigating election fraud that the three filled out the ballots themselves, even though evidence presented at trial showed that they had not.
When prosecutors on Monday showed witness Abdiriman Muse, 22, an absentee ballot form purported to be his, Muse testified that his name was misspelled, his address was wrong, and he did not vote in the 2020 primary.
The state of Minnesota allows for absentee ballot voters, who were unable to vote in person due to illness or disability, to submit their ballots to an “agent” who can act on the voter’s behalf, as the Associated Press notes:
Absentee voters in Minnesota can use “agent delivery.” It’s meant for voters who intend to vote in person, but become unable due to health reasons or disabilities. They can then request absentee ballots after the normal deadline and can designate an “agent” to act on their behalf. That agent must be at least 18, have a pre-existing relationship with the voter, and can’t be a candidate. A [sic] agent can pick up and deliver ballots for no more than three voters in any given election.
The prosecution’s filing asserted Mohamed did not have a relationship with the three voters, the Associated Press reported. Moreover, the three individuals did not request Mohamed deliver ballots on their behalf, according to the filing. “One ballot he allegedly attempted to return was rejected because the voter had voted in person,” the outlet says.
Per the AP, prosecutors wrote:
Ultimately, Mohamed stated he received the three absentee ballots from the voters themselves. When confronted with the fact that the voters each gave statements that they do not know Mohamed and that they did not ask him or anyone for agent delivery of their ballots for the August 2020 election, Mohamed continued to stand by his answer that he received the ballots from the voter.
After DFL Senate leaders issued statements on the conviction, which called for Fateh to address his constituents, the senator broke his silence regarding the jury’s guilty verdict, the Sahan Journal reports.
“I am troubled by this conviction. I am more committed than ever to organizing and governing to strengthen a fair and free democracy,” he said in part.