An investigation into voter fraud by the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office caught the attention of the California State Attorney General’s Office into possible voter intimidation.
According to the ABC affiliate KDRV, about a week before the primary, deputies went door-to-door to the homes of Asian Americans of Hmong descent threatening them with arrest for voter fraud.
…went door to door, arrived with rifles, and listed the punishment for voter fraud, it was a case of voter intimidation.
Hmong (Pron: Mung), were key allies with the CIA against the North Vietnamese and Vietcong during the Vietnam war as they guided the soldiers through the thick jungles of Vietnam. After the fall of Saigon, those lucky to escape were evacuated to the U.S. Hmong people migrated to the central part of California, trying their best to assimilate.
Many still suffer to this day from PTSD from the war as well as those who were left behind, only to be escape their plight of death for supporting the U.S. Hmong are the poorest of the poor in the Asian and Pacific Islander culture, with many on social services. Cultural shock is still a problem too as many are incarcerated for crimes that are part of the Hmong culture for thousands of years.
Their children, the second generation or U.S. born Hmong tend to do better but racism and yes, voter intimidation still persist. Also, there has been a rise of Hmong Street gangs too in California and their new enclave in Minnesota. Those who escaped Southeast Asia still feel the pressure but this time it’s in their new homeland.
Though Sheriff Lopey has said that there is allegation of voter fraud, there were no arrest whatsoever as many Hmong folks vote Democratic. Because of the door-to-door threat of arrest, many stayed home and not voted. Oh and California does not require voter I.D. to vote, as your home address would suffice.
According to the CBS affiliate KTVL,
“…Lopey said about 200 applications looked questionable.
“Deputies and state investigators went to the addresses listed on those applications. The areas included the Klamath River Country Estates, Mount Shasta Vista and Mount Shasta Forest area.
“You’re supposed to use an address, you’re supposed to have a primary residence, or at least a domicile at the location, and some people used incomplete information,” Sheriff Jon Lopey said.
Sheriff Lopey said some applicants used parcel numbers which is not a residence indicator.
Many of the Hmong family live in the same dwelling as other families. Since many are extremely poor, many live with other family members to make ends meet. So if for example, John Smith lives at 123 Main Street, while John Doe may also use the same address with no relations, there may be a conflict. Also, if someone is homeless and lives under a bridge, the homeless person can use their County Department of Social Services address as a mail box for government-type mail…like their driver’s license or I.D.
Apparently, the Hmong people who voted Tuesday were not arrested as their vote were cast, but many were sufficiently intimated to not vote, as many fear deportation back to a country that wants them dead.