Nonprofit, independent journalism. Supported by readers.


Phyllis Kahn cries foul when many Somali absentee voters register with the same mail center address

With early absentee voting now underway, many new Somali voters are using a Minneapolis mail center as their address, which caused state Rep. Phyllis Kahn’s campaign to claim fraud. 

KSTP-TV news reports that state Rep. Phyllis Kahn’s election campaign wants an investigation of possible voter fraud, as many new Somali voters have registered to vote using the same address — that of a mail center in Minneapolis — as they use the state’s absentee ballot system for the Aug. 12 primary election.

Kahn, who has served 21 terms in the Legislature, is in the midst of a contentious reelection challenge in District 60B in Minneapolis from Somali activist Mohamud Noor. 

The story says:

According to voter registration records from the Secretary of State’s office and the DFL Voter Activation Network more than 140 people used 419 Cedar Avenue South in Minneapolis as their home address, when they registered to vote.

Article continues after advertisement

The address is for what’s called Cedar Mailbox Center.

Kahn’s campaign manager, Brian Rice, says:

“I think there is a coordinated effort to use this address to bring voters into the DFL primary election on August 12, that’s what I think is going on. It’s wrong, it violates Minnesota Law, it’s a crime.”

The mail center’s employees, though, say Somali immigrants have been using the mail center as their address for mail for many years.

Hennepin County election officials say they’re investigating the allegations.

Noor told the station that many Somalis are energized by his campaign and he says his campaign has done nothing wrong:

“I categorically deny any assertion of wrongdoing on the part of my campaign, and I welcome an investigation into the baseless allegations raised by Brian Rice. Allegations of fraud are serious and must be investigated thoroughly. My campaign is committed to a transparent and inclusive process for all voters and I am extremely proud of the work done by all of my campaign’s volunteers to further the goal of a free, fair, and safe election for everyone in the district. My campaign has focused on voter turnout and education; because of the high rate of participation by East Africans in elections, we have carried out no voter registration campaigns, contrary to the implications of Mr. Rice.”