WESTMINSTER, Calif. - A local organization, Clarity OC, held a press conference Thursday, calling on the federal government to get involved in the Orange County District Attorney's Office probe into Republican Westminster Vice Mayor, Kimberly Ho's campaign headquarters. The investigation was prompted by a "Vote Here" sign allegedly found outside of the campaign headquarters by Clarity OC.
"Our main concern is that they [Kimberly Ho campaign headquarters] were impersonating an official polling location and polling workers which is a form of election fraud. That's a federal offense so we're hoping the feds get involved," said Owain Jones, a volunteer for Clarity OC.
Clarity OC organizers said they are not affiliated with any political party and are seeking "truth in Orange County elections." The group members said they were looking for "fake polling places" when they came across the "Vote Here" sign.
PREVIOUS COVERAGE: D.A.'s office probes 'Vote Here' sign found outside Kimberly Ho HQ
"We don't pick any sides here like at all. It's about clarity. That's it. We just want people to be open and honest about the things that are happening, and the things that we're seeing out here. The time for games is over. We're no longer an ignorant generation. We're all paying attention. We're all watching and every time they get caught slipping, we'll be there on them," said Justin Frazier, the Chairman of Clarity OC.
One of the organizers from Clarity OC claims Kimberly Ho, herself, has said her headquarters was an official voting site.
"Kimberly Ho herself did approach me and stated that it was an official polling place before she asked us to leave the property," said Doreen Marciano.
Van Thai Tran, a former state assemblyman and an attorney for Ho's campaign said ballots were being collected at Ho's headquarters but no voting was taking place. He believes the "Vote Here" sign may have been planted, though he didn't say who might be responsible, the Register reported. Tran said organizers from Clarity OC were interfering with the election process and the police had to get involved.
Marciano said Clarity OC was not involved in the encounter with police.
"There was a different group out there. We [Clarity OC] were not there at night. We left promptly after the interviews [at around 4:30 p.m.]," she said.
Investigators from the Orange County DA's office arrived at Ho's campaign headquarters Wednesday, but details about the investigation have not yet been released.
The campaign for Dr. Kimberly Ho released a statement Thursday:
“In their last-minute and desperate attempt to disrupt the operation of our campaign headquarters, protesters interfered with our voters and harassed Dr. Ho’s campaign workers on Tuesday, Election Day. Unannounced and without invitation, they trespassed on our property in an aggressive and accusatory manner, waving cell phones and intimidating voters coming in the headquarters seeking assistance, while picking arguments with campaign workers.
Voters coming to Dr. Ho’s campaign headquarters seeking help in their native language, and our campaign, similar to other campaign offices, is providing the much needed voting assistance for these voters. All of our campaign activities are fully legal and comply with California election law. Other than uncorroborated accusations, these protestors have absolutely no evidence that the campaign operated a ‘fake voting center’ or ‘destroyed valid ballots’.
We did not run any radio or TV ads on Vietnamese-language stations describing our campaign headquarters as an official polling place. It was simply a campaign ad by supporters informing voters, in their native language, to contact our campaign headquarters if they have any issues related to the election. The ad was straightforward, pure, and simple.
We categorically reject the trumped up allegations and false accusation by members of these anti-democratic groups, whose belligerent conduct in front of our campaign headquarters on Tuesday actually resulted in voter suppression and interference with the voting process. It is even more egregious when they targeted a campaign office that welcomes and helps an immigrant community, many are not proficient in English.
It is these organized protestors who should be investigated by local, state and federal authorities for their alleged illegal conduct, which may have caused fear with the voters and disrupting our campaign on the most important day of the General Election. We call on the authorities to open an investigation and will fully cooperate with our own evidence and witnesses.”