A sign directing voters to the polls sits outside St. Stephanus Lutheran Church in St. Paul, Minnesota on November 2, 2021. Credit: Jaida Grey Eagle | Sahan Journal

Sahan Journal doesn’t run a lot of stories about crime. On our news site, we concentrate on how public safety and the policies that surround it affect immigrants and communities of color in Minnesota.

So why report a story about two counts of alleged false testimony in a grand jury hearing from three months ago?

The answer, in one sense, is obvious: The grand jury case involves an investigation related to testimony about absentee ballots.

Claims of voter fraud almost destroyed the 2020 election. On January 6, then-President Donald Trump weaponized lies about voter fraud to encourage an insurrection against the United States government. Earlier in the election, political actors produced videos that purported to show absentee ballot fraud taking place in Minneapolis.

Extensive research shows that ballot fraud is an extraordinarily rare occurrence in modern American elections and does not occur to a degree that has affected election outcomes. Nonetheless, Republicans in many states have launched an assault on the ability of Americans to vote, efforts that disproportionately affect immigrants and people of color.

Sahan Journal writes often about how immigrants and communities of color in Minnesota are participating in elections, from city school boards to suburban state legislative seats–often registering historic firsts for their communities. These are, overwhelmingly, optimistic stories about the positive power of elections to improve our communities and our state. But they may not be the complete story.

Some readers may believe Sahan Journal should wait for a trial to fill in the details about what happened in this federal investigation. But ignoring a criminal indictment that involves alleged mishandling of absentee ballots won’t make the issue go away. We believe readers need to know now.


Mukhtar Ibrahim is the founding publisher and CEO of Sahan Journal. He previously worked as a staff writer for the Star Tribune and Minnesota Public Radio News. He has also written for the St. Paul...