Woman Alleged to Have Intimidated Seniors to Vote for Biden, Criminal Investigation Opened

A woman is being investigated for voter intimidation after reportedly collecting ballots from seniors at a low-income housing complex in California.

The Los Angeles County Registrar of Voters said a criminal investigation had begun by examining security video footage and interviewing potential victims.

The unnamed woman, who has not been named, allegedly collected ballots from senior citizens who reside at the Westminster Arms in south Los Angeles, ABC7 reports.

The allegation, which was made by the son of a senior resident and was first reported by local Korean language news channel SBS International, claims that the woman went door-to-door at the senior living complex and steered the seniors to vote for and attempted to convince them to vote for Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.

She is then reported to have collected their ballots saying she would "fill in the rest," ABC7 reports.

Speaking to the station's Eyewitness News, Dean Logan, the County Registrar of Voters, said reports of voter fraud were rare and this case is being handled by the Los Angeles District Attorney.

"I think what was particularly concerning about this allegation is that it seemed to, at least potentially, to prey on a vulnerable population," he said.

"Non-English speaking, or at least limited-English speaking, voters who I think are easily susceptible to being duped in a process like this."

The investigation is looking into whether the woman in question had taken ballots from seniors living at the complex in the Jefferson Park.

"What we're hearing, at least the possibility that they're saying, you know, fill out part of the ballot, leave the rest and I'll take care of that. Sign the envelope, give me your blank ballot. I'll take care of that," Logan told ABC7.

From the original report on the woman, the incident raised a flag for Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, who is running for Los Angeles City Council against attorney Grace Yoo.

Ridley-Thomas' office told ABC7 Eyewitness News: "Voter integrity is at stake and consequences for this kind of alleged fraud must be swift and certain. It is particularly deplorable that anyone would take advantage of a vulnerable population in order to swing the outcome of an election." Yoo's office confirmed to the outlet that they were aware of the report.

What is Illegal "assistance" at the Polls?

Forcing or intimidating voters—particularly the elderly, disabled, illiterate, and those for whom English is a second language—to vote for particular candidates while supposedly providing them with "assistance." Source: The Heritage Foundation

In a statement, the Los Angeles County Registrar of Voters told Newsweek: "The Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk takes reports of this type of activity very seriously as maintaining election security and integrity is of the utmost importance. Any activity that erodes trust or preys on vulnerable communities from their right to vote independently and undeterred will be pursued and investigated to the fullest extent.

"When our office was provided information on this matter we immediately contacted investigative authorities," the statement continues. "At this time, we encourage all voters to track the status of their Vote by Mail ballot on our website LAVote.net or through California's Where's My Ballot system. If a voter is concerned about their Vote by Mail ballot they can visit any one of the 791 Vote Centers open today throughout the County to participate in the election. Information on how to find a Vote Center or to speed up the voting process can be found on our website, LAVote.net

"The Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk was made aware of a television news story which alleged that a woman collected signed Vote by Mail ballots from a group of Korean seniors living in an apartment building in Los Angeles," the organization confirms. "The news story reported that the woman told the group of seniors that she would fill out incomplete ballots for them or turn in completed ballots on their behalf."

Updated at 30/11/2020, 10:51 a.m. ET to include a statement from The Los Angeles County Registrar of Voters.

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Election material is shown at a ballot Zoom party to go over measures up for a vote this election on October 15, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. A woman is being investigated in south Los Angeles for voter intimidation of senior citizens. Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images