Officials in Orange County, California, are investigating reports that on Tuesday, a fake voting center was set up in the city of Westminster.
The site allegedly accepted ballots and even distributed “I Voted” stickers, the Los Angeles Times reports. An organizer for the OCForBlackLives group said in a video on Twitter that while patrolling neighborhoods for voter fraud, an activist saw a handmade “Vote Here” sign at a building and watched as people walked in with their ballots and left with “I Voted” stickers. The Orange County Registrar of Voters confirmed that it was not an official polling site, and the agency and the district attorney’s office are investigating.
The Times reports that the purported polling center was at an address listed as the headquarters of Apogee International. Apogee is a skincare company owned by the vice mayor of Westminster, Dr. Kimberly Ho, who is running for re-election. The Times called Apogee, and the man who answered the phone said the address was Ho’s campaign headquarters. He would not comment on the fake voting site reports, only saying, “You need to talk with the lawyer.”
The lawyer, Van Tran, told the Times people did go there to drop off their ballots, but then claimed the campaign was only helping “advise” them on how to vote. A video was shot at the location that showed boxes, and Tran claimed they held empty ballot envelopes and not ballots. “It’s a false controversy that the opponents are creating,” Tran told the Times. “There is absolutely no evidence whatsoever that any illegality is happening.”
Activists who stood outside of the office building told the Times that wasn’t the case, with Justin Frazier of the Clarity O.C. organizations saying, “I don’t even know who [Ho’s] opponent is.” Catherine Garcia