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Calif. Democrat Arrested, Charged With Suspicion of Election Fraud

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


A California Democratic city council member has been arrested and charged with allegedly engaging in election fraud, according to a local report.

Shakir Khan, a member of the Lodi City Council, was arrested last week after already facing additional criminal charges, according to CBS Sacramento. The outlet said that Khan resigned from his post on Friday, then claimed that his resignation was coerced. The new vote fraud charges are reportedly related to the 2020 election.

“We became aware of Shakir Khan’s arrest this morning and I had the opportunity to speak with him here at the county jail and asked for his resignation, effective immediately. He agreed to resign,” Lodi Mayor Mikey Hothi noted in a statement, according to the outlet. “The city is fully cooperating with the investigation. I want to thank the sheriff’s office and everybody involved, ensuring a fair and thorough process.”

According to Khan’s attorney, who spoke to CBS13, his client was coerced into resigning from his position without legal representation, claiming that he was under duress at the time. The attorney also indicated that Khan has not officially stepped down from his city council post. However, the sheriff’s office has alleged that there is substantial evidence to suggest that Khan betrayed the public’s trust.

Khan has been charged with multiple offenses related to voter fraud. These charges include causing, procuring, or allowing false voter registration of himself or another person, submitting fraudulent voter registration to the Secretary of State, submitting a fraudulent candidacy petition, aiding and abetting fraud in any election, subscribing fictitious names to nomination petitions, making a false nomination or declaration of candidacy, fraudulently casting votes, and procuring, assisting, counseling, or advising another person who is not qualified to vote.

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The local outlet noted further:

Back in 2021, Khan was arraigned on charges relating to illegal gambling, money laundering, tax evasion, and unemployment claim fraud.

The San Joaquin County Registrar’s Office said they are fully cooperating with the sheriff’s office with its investigation. They also say they are re-evaluating their systems in an effort to prevent voter fraud in the future. 

He is due in court on Tuesday to face the 2021 charges, according to FOX40.

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Sheriff Patrick Withrow of San Joaquin County stated that the charges against Khan are the result of an investigation that began in 2019 in response to previous allegations against him. Withrow further explained that members of the public had expressed concern about the integrity of the election process, which prompted law enforcement to pursue the matter.

“Our investigation uncovered that councilman Shakir Khan has attempted to undermine, manipulate and violate one of our most fundamental rights here in our country, and that is the right to free and fair elections,” Withrow noted during a press conference Thursday.

“It appears councilman Shakir Khan has targeted members of his own community, our Pakistani community in the north county,” Withrow continued. “And we are doing everything we can to work with them to make sure that they are protected and that any damage done to them or their families is corrected by this man’s actions.”

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As part of a prior investigation into suspected illegal gambling establishments in Stockton, authorities searched a business believed to be owned by Khan and subsequently conducted a search of his residence. During the search of Khan’s home, officials reportedly discovered 41 completed mail-in ballots that were sealed. Khan was running for the District 4 seat on the Lodi City Council at the time of the search, FOX40 reported.

“When we saw this, we thought that something was off here and we didn’t know we had a crime at this particular point because there was a recent change in election law and people can turn in ballots on behalf of another,” said Capt. Art Harty of the sheriff’s office during the press conference.

FOX40 added: “Officials from the sheriff’s office said Thursday there were 23 names registered to vote at Khan’s address and 47 others were registered to vote at other addresses but used Khan’s email and phone number.’

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