Ohio: Somali Voters, ACORN Tactics, and Voter Fraud Allegations

Editor's Note: PJ Media Legal Editor J. Christian Adams has a different take on this voter fraud story here.

Last last month, Ohio blogger and political activist Sara Marie Brenner broke the story about potential voter fraud in Columbus, Ohio. Brenner wrote in Human Events that:

Two volunteer poll workers at an Ohio voting station told Human Events that they observed van loads of Ohio residents born in Somalia — the state is home to the second-largest Somali population in the United States — being driven to the voting station and guided by Democratic interpreters on the voting process. No Republican interpreters were present, according to these volunteers.

Last week, Brenner posted interviews she conducted with volunteer poll observers, voters, and Republican campaign workers who witnessed suspicious activities at the Morse Road voting center in Franklin County.

Setting aside for a moment the specific allegations of voter fraud at the Morse Road voting center, it’s important to understand some of the context and the events leading up to the situation at the polls in Columbus. It’s a familiar tale involving the unions, wasted tax dollars, and a vulnerable voting population. One character is Mussa Farah and his Columbus-based Horn of Africa Rescue Committee. A recent article on RFI said that,

For several weeks members of Farah’s group have been spending time in Somali neighbourhoods, like Providence Glen housing, encouraging people to register to vote. Now, a week before election day, they are encouraging people to go vote early to avoid lines on 6 November.

Farah is a controversial figure in the Columbus Somali community. He has been accused of fraud in a government-funded tutoring program he ran. The state pulled his funding and terminated his services, claiming that he falsified forms. In one case, a check for $58,000 from the Ohio Department of Education was made out to Somali American Youth. The address on the check led to a UPS store. The address on another check led to a small apartment.

Farah was a 2009 Ohio Fellow to the Center for Progressive Leadership, where he and other community organizers and union leaders learned to "advance progressive political change in their communities." A Somali blog highlights the fact that Farah was appointed to the Columbus Community Relations Commission in 2010. That group is devoted to promoting "pluralism" so that "every family feels welcome."

He also spoke out against the unidentified Columbus Somali who was an unindicted conspirator suspected of raising money for the al-Shabab terror network in Somalia. "I'm very much disappointed with what I heard," Farah said. "That's what we have been preventing for the last two years." He spoke about the vulnerable young people in his community.

"The ideology war is very bad," Farah said. "It's the worst. Somebody can just change your mind and tell you if you blow yourself up and things, it's ideology and ideology is the worst war."