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OPINION

Letter: Vary your news sources and verify info for accuracy, even from elected officials

Submitted by Lori Sande Soukup
Crookston Times

Note: Incident of voter fraud alleged by Sen. Johnson was debunked by credible news sources   

    As a former “Erskinite” and current resident of the metro area I was surprised to see the official notice from Senator Johnson in the Erskine Echo (“Senator Mark Johnson: Minnesota Primed for Voter Fraud” October 1)  warning that alleged voter fraud, which would benefit DFL candidates,  has been exposed in the metro area! Evidence is a video provided by a group called the Project Veritas.

    A quick online search describes Project Veritas as a right-wing activist group that uses undercover techniques to reveal supposed liberal bias and corruption.  Methods include secretly taping people and conversations then selectively and deceptively editing them so that the end result fits their narrative.  Founder, James O’Keefe, has been involved in numerous lawsuits and is personally barred from fundraising in Florida, Mississippi, Utah, Wisconsin and Maine due in part to misstatements and failure to disclose his conviction for entering a U.S. senator’s office with two men who were posing as telephone repairmen to make a secret tape.

    The incident in the Twin Cities that Senator Johnson warns about has been debunked by credible news sources.  The subject of the video claims that he was offered a bribe to say that he was collecting ballots for Representative Ilhan Omar.  An October 10th article by Fox9 News suggests that the voter fraud story may have been coordinated with the Republican Party.  Days before the publication of the story Project Veritas founder James O’Keefe met with Trump’s MN campaign chair who later that night tweeted out a tease that a big story was coming out.    

    Efforts to sow doubts and mistrust in our election system are being deployed not only by foreign entities but some of our fellow Americans.  Whatever your political affiliation, hearing the president of the United States claim, “the only way we're going to lose this election is if the election is rigged,” should alarm us all.  Voting and confidence in the legitimacy of election results are essential to our democracy.  

    As an election judge and a volunteer observer of post-election audits (for the nonprofit, non-partisan Citizens for Election Integrity MN) I have great faith in the election system the state has in place.  And in the dedicated professionals who work hard at ensuring safe, secure and transparent elections.  Learn more about how elections are administered and the safeguards in place at the Secretary of State’s website  www.MNVotes.org.

    Now, more than ever, we need to vary our news sources and verify information to be sure it’s accurate.  Even if it’s from our elected officials.  

Lori Sande Soukup

Stillwater, Minnesota