FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Thursday, November 2, 2006
ELECTION DAY - NOVEMBER 7, 2006
RALEIGH - United States Attorney George E. B. Holding has designated Assistant United States Attorney Robert J. Higdon, Jr., Chief of the Criminal Division, to lead the efforts of the district in connection with the Justice Department’s nation-wide Election Day Program for the upcoming November 7, 2006 general elections.
AUSA Higdon will be responsible for overseeing the District’s handling of complaints of election fraud and voting rights abuses in consultation with the U. S. Department of Justice.
Building upon its long-standing Election Day Program, the Department of Justice established a Ballot Access and Voting Integrity Initiative in October 2002. U. S. Attorney Holding noted: “The goals of this initiative are to increase the Justice Department’s ability to deter election fraud and discrimination at the polls and to prosecute these offenses whenever and wherever they occur - to make voting easier and cheating harder. Both goals are equally important. It is imperative that in pursuing voter integrity, ballot access is not in any way impeded or harmed. The Justice Department’s Election Day Program furthers the goals of the Initiative.” The Program also is intended to ensure public confidence in the integrity of the election process by providing local points of contact within the Department where the public can report possible election fraud and voting rights violations while the polls are open. The franchise is the cornerstone of American democracy. We all must ensure that those who are entitled to the franchise are at liberty to exercise it, while those who seek to corrupt it are brought to justice.
In order to respond to complaints of election fraud or voting rights abuses on November 7, 2006, and to ensure that such complaints are directed to the appropriate authorities, U. S. Attorney Holding stated that the designated district election official, AUSA Higdon, will be on duty while the polls are open. AUSA Higdon can be reached by the public at (919) 856-4530.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation will be available to receive election-related complaints from all sources. On November 7, 2006, the FBI can be reached at (919) 233-7701.
The North Carolina State Board of Elections will also be available to receive concerns and complaints. Citizens should direct their initial questions or complaints to their County Board of Elections or to the State Board of Elections in Raleigh at (919) 733-7173.
Complaints about ballot access problems or discrimination can be made directly to the Civil Rights Division’s Voting Section in Washington, D.C. at 1-800-253-3931 or (202) 307-2767.
Election fraud and voting rights abuses dilute the worth of votes honestly cast and corrupt the essence of our representative form of government. Further, as crimes against both the individual and the government, they will be dealt with promptly and aggressively. Anyone who has information suggesting electoral corruption or voting rights abuses should make that information available immediately to the U. S. Attorney’s Office or the FBI.
News releases are available on the U. S. Attorney’s web page at www.usdoj.gov/usao/nce within 48 hours of release.