President Donald Trump’s campaign is challenging election results in Nevada with allegations that Native American leaders offered gifts to voters who would vote for Joe Biden.
Gift cards in values from $25 to $500 as well as jewelry and T-shirts, were allegedly offered to tribal members and associates who turned out to vote for the Democrat in the presidential election last month. Trump’s lawyers were using videos showing efforts by the Native American groups in Nevada to challenge the six electoral college votes that were given to Biden.
A lengthy video showed various clips of voters being offered “swag” to vote in the presidential election. Reno-Sparks Indian Colony officials were seen in one video clip offering a raffle for gift cards in the amounts of $25, $100, $250, and $500 for voters who could prove they submitted their ballots.
“If you come here to vote or if you voted already, RSIC is having a raffle,” RSIC spokeswoman Bethany Sam said in one of the videos.
The spokeswoman added that there are “a lot of great things to push you guys to get out here to vote, challenge you to get you out here to vote.”
Sam was seen in the video wearing a Biden-Harris protective face mask and standing in front of the Biden-Harris campaign bus at one point.
The videos were reportedly shown in a Carson City court on Thursday as the Trump campaign pressed its case to either have Trump declared the winner of the election in Nevada or to nullify the results which gave Biden a narrow victory with 33,596 votes more votes.
“A shocking number of states have discovered that groups claiming to support the Native American community’s voice at the polls have engaged in blatantly illegal bribery and vote incentivizing with cash cards, gas cards, electronics and other items,” a briefing paper on the campaign’s case read, according to the Washington Examiner.
“This scandal appears to have been rampant in Nevada. Posts on the Nevada Native Vote Project Facebook page show that similar raffles were conducted in 15 Nevada native communities, with 116 voters receiving $6,650 in cash prizes,” the paper stated.
“I think that this lawsuit is a little bit reckless,” Jacqueline De León, attorney for the Native American Rights Fund, told KNPR. “It’s sort of just casting a wide net of disparagement on the Nevada Native Vote Project. And it turns out a lot of their claims are unsubstantiated.”
She claimed the events promoted by the Nevada Native Vote Project were open to everyone.
“Even if the advertisement seems to imply that you needed to have an ‘I Vote’ sticker, what really ultimately matters is whether or not the event was open to everybody,” De León said, “If the event was open to everybody then it’s not illegal.”
The Trump campaign claimed some “outright fraud, some irregularities” and votes “that should not have been counted” in Nevada during a hearing Thursday before Judge James Todd Russell in Carson City.
The Nevada Native Vote Project called the allegations of gift exchanges for votes “categorically false” and accused the campaign of running a “sloppy and racist investigation.”
According to an Associated Press report in November:
Voter turnout on swaths of tribal land in Arizona surged compared with the 2016 presidential election, helping Joe Biden to victory in a state that hadn’t supported a Democratic in a White House contest since 1996. Native Americans were among the difference-makers who swung the race to Biden in Arizona.
“The Native American community played a tremendous role,” CNN’s Van Jones remarked on the Nevada election results which were certified for Biden. “They are responsible for the victory.”
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