California Democrat Charged With Criminal Election Fraud

Lodi, California, City Councilman Shakir Khan, a Democrat, was arrested on February 16 for alleged election fraud charges related to the 2022 election, including hiding 41 mail-in ballots at his home, falsifying voter registration documents, and improperly pressuring residents to vote for him.

The California council member was released from jail over the weekend but must wear a tracking device and stay within California.

Local news reports indicate that it is uncertain if Khan has resigned from the city council over the allegations. However, the City of Lodi posted a video on social media showing Mayor Mikey Hothi telling the public that he met with Khan while he was in the county jail. The mayor said the two of them agreed it would be best for all involved if Khan resigned immediately.

Khan then signed a hand-written letter of resignation in the presence of San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office deputies. But Khan insisted that he did not resign and will continue to serve. Khan’s attorney has stated that his client will pursue legal action if he is removed from the council.

During a press conference last Thursday, Sheriff Pat Withrow said Khan’s alleged election fraud came to his attention while his department was looking into claims arising in 2019 against Khan involving illegal gambling, tax evasion, and Employment Development Department fraud.

During that investigation, deputies found dozens of completed ballots at Khan’s home. The investigators photographed the ballots and left them with Khan, who later won his bid for Lodi City Council.

Other charges indicate that Khan allegedly intimidated Lodi District 4 residents into voting for him. According to the Sheriff’s Office, he had voters sign mail-in ballots that he filled out and registered many of them to vote using his personal email address and cellular phone. In addition, investigators allege Khan forged several signatures on his nomination papers needed to run for city council.

Conservatives and Republicans have argued that mail-in ballots pose a massive risk of election fraud, and this case is further evidence in support of the argument.

The U.S. Election Assistance Commission has reported that at least 28.3 million mail-in ballots are still missing from elections nationwide conducted between 2012 and 2018.

Maintaining mandatory in-person voting for all citizens except those truly unable to appear at polling places would immediately resolve many of the legitimate concerns over American election security.

Such a rule would have clearly prevented the alleged fraud committed by Khan and countless others unknown to law enforcement.

Vice Mayor Lisa Craig said in a statement to the News-Sentinel that she was “both appalled and saddened” after watching Withrow’s press conference, adding she strongly condemned Khan’s actions.