Claim: South Dakota GOP Voters Offered Gift Cards to Vote Democrat
Republican voters on the heavily Democrat Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota say they were offered online gift cards as incentive to change their voter registration and vote for certain candidates in the 2018 election cycle.
These latest details of alleged voter inducement emerge as state leaders and law enforcement investigate allegations of residency election fraud in two legislative races in South Dakota’s 27th legislative district.
In that same district, Republican voters have come forward saying they were offered $25 Apple iTunes gift cards on the condition they would change party affiliation to Democrat and cast their vote for Peri Pourier, a Democrat candidate running for the South Dakota House of Representatives.
Voters who spoke on the condition of anonymity say they were approached by Democrat political organizers in the 27th District inquiring about their party affiliation and whether they could be persuaded to register as Democrat in exchange for $25 in song downloads on Apple’s iTunes music service.
The voters declined the offer and said at the time, they didn’t realize there was anything amiss in such an arrangement.
Offering and accepting any financial inducement to sway a voting decision is a violation of both Federal and South Dakota state election laws, both of which applied since the 2018 South Dakota ballot featured a federal race for South Dakota’s lone congressional seat.
Now Representative-elect, Peri Pourier, is one of two Democrat women elected in November’s midterm election under suspicion of having failed to fulfill South Dakota’s Constitutional test regarding two year in-state residency prior to candidacy.
A document trail appears to indicate that Pourier was a recent resident of the state of Nebraska, prior to announcing her candidacy. Democrat State Senator-elect, Red Dawn Foster faces similar allegations after investigators uncovered evidence she had been a longtime resident of Colorado and had listed a Denver address as her primary residence as late as June of 2017.
Title 18, Section 597 of the U.S. Federal Code prohibits any financial inducement for the influencing of voting decisions on a ballot containing a federal race.