November 2012 Elections
Las Vegas, Nev. – United States Attorney Daniel G. Bogden announced today that Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA) Russell E. Marsh will lead the efforts of his office in connection with the Justice Department's nationwide Election Day Program for the upcoming Nov. 6, 2012 general elections. AUSA Marsh has been appointed to serve as the District Election Officer (DEO) for the District of Nevada, and in that capacity is responsible for overseeing the District's handling of complaints of election fraud and voting rights abuses in consultation with Justice Department Headquarters in Washington.
United States Attorney Bogden said, "Every citizen must be able to vote without interference or discrimination and to have that vote counted without it being stolen because of fraud. The Department of Justice will act promptly and aggressively to protect the integrity of the election process."
The Department of Justice has an important role in deterring election fraud and discrimination at the polls, and combating these violations whenever and wherever they occur. The Department's long-standing Election Day Program furthers these goals, and also seeks to ensure public confidence in the integrity of the election process by providing local points of contact within the Department for the public to report possible election fraud and voting rights violations while the polls are open on Election Day.
Federal law protects against such crimes as intimidating or bribing voters, buying and selling votes, altering vote tallies, stuffing ballot boxes, and marking ballots for voters against their wishes or without their input. It also contains special protections for the rights of voters and provides that they can vote free from acts that intimidate or harass them. For example, actions of persons designed to interrupt or intimidate voters at polling places by questioning or challenging them, or by photographing or videotaping them, under the pretext that these are actions to uncover illegal voting may violate federal voting rights law. Further, federal law protects the right of voters to mark their own ballot or to be assisted by a person of their choice.
In order to respond to complaints of election fraud or voting rights abuses on Nov. 6, 2012, and to ensure that such complaints are directed to the appropriate authorities, United States Attorney Bogden stated that the U.S. Attorney's Office, as part of the Nevada Election Integrity Task Force, will be working with the Nevada Secretary of State, the Nevada Attorney General, and the FBI to investigate complaints regarding questionable voter registration practices, potential voter fraud, and enforcement of laws regarding voter intimidation. On Election Day, there will be command posts in Carson City, Reno, Las Vegas and Elko, staffed by members of the Task Force. AUSA/DEO Marsh will be on duty at the Las Vegas command post while the polls are open on Nov. 6, 2012, to assist with the investigation of any complaints of election fraud or voting rights abuses, and to ensure that such complaints are directed to the appropriate authorities. Additionally, an AUSA will be on duty at the Reno command post to assist with complaints.
Law enforcement officials, election workers and citizens can file complaints in a number of ways.
- By completing the Election Law Violation Form on the NV Secretary of State's website
- By calling the NV Secretary of State at (775) 684-5705; or
- By calling the FBI in Las Vegas at (702) 385-1281 and asking for Special Agent Mike Elliott.
- Complaints about ballot access problems or discrimination can also be made directly to DOJ's Civil Rights Division's Voting Section in Washington at (800) 253-3931 or (202) 307-2767.
United States Attorney Bogden said, "Ensuring free and fair elections depends in large part on the cooperation of the American electorate. It is imperative that those who have specific information about discrimination or election fraud make that information available immediately to my Office, the FBI, or the Civil Rights Division."