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Clovis Councilman Denies Prizes for Votes at Rally



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Clovis City Councilman Vong Mouanoutoua says he is not offering prizes for a get out the vote rally happening Saturday.

Despite a message posted on Facebook indicating prizes for ballots, Mouanoutoua says that is not the case.

“This is a rally to get out the vote. And so there will be a raffle, but it’s nothing to do with ballots,” Vong Mouanoutoua said. Anyone who attends will receive a raffle ticket, the councilman added.

Mouanoutoua’s brother, Mouaber Mouanoutoua, posted a message on Facebook Thursday “Clovis residents, BRING YOUR BALLOTS to the rally for a chance to win prizes! Over thousands of dollars worth in prizes to be given away.” The message is no longer visible.

Offering incentives to vote is a violation of federal law. Several on social media questioned the legality of the rally.

The election for two council seats is next Tuesday. Voting is ongoing.

A Facebook post shared by Clovis City Councilman Vong Mouanoutoua indicated prizes for ballots. (Image: Facebook)

Another Candidate Criticizes Move

Diane Pearce, one of five candidates for the Clovis City Council, criticized the rally.

“I’ve been knocking on doors since September; talking with voters and earning their support. I didn’t realize we could have a carnival and buy votes with prizes,” Pearce said.

Mouanoutoua responded to his critics.

“They can call me directly ask me what we’re doing, or they can come (Saturday) and see what’s going on,” Mouanoutoua said.

Goal to Reach Hmong Voters

The goal is to reach out to the Hmong community. The rally takes place at Regency Hall in Clovis (1600 Willow Avenue) starting at 11 a.m. on Saturday.

“The Hmong doesn’t turn out to vote much looking at the numbers,” Mouanoutoua said. “My long term goal ever since I got on (council) is just let’s register and let’s educate. That way, we have a stronger presence and a stronger civic duty to to vote.”

A flyer also posted by Mouaber Mouanoutoua advertises political figures such as Fresno Mayor Jerry Dyer and other members of the Clovis City Council. Hmong entertainers are scheduled to perform as well including the Phong Yang Paradise Band.

A flyer for a Vong Mouanoutoua rally (Image: Facebook)

Curiosity drives David Taub. The award-winning journalist might be shy, but feels mighty with a recorder in his hand. He doesn't see it his job to "hold public officials accountable," but does see it to provide readers (and voters) the information needed to make intelligent choices. Taub has been honored with several writing awards from the California News Publishers Association. He's just happy to have his stories read. Joining GV Wire in 2016, Taub covers politics, government and elections, mainly in the Fresno/Clovis area. He also writes columns about local eateries (Appetite for Fresno), pro wrestling (Off the Bottom Rope), and media (Media Man). Prior to joining the online news source, Taub worked as a radio producer for KMJ and PowerTalk 96.7 in Fresno. He also worked as an assignment editor for KCOY-TV in Santa Maria, California, and KSEE-TV in Fresno. He has also worked behind the scenes for several sports broadcasts, including the NCAA basketball tournament, and the Super Bowl. When not spending time with his family, Taub loves to officially score Fresno Grizzlies games. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Taub is a die-hard Giants and 49ers fan. He graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. Go Blue! You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email