U.S. Department of Justice
Peter F. Neronha
United States Attorney
District of Rhode Island
November 5, 2012
U.S. Attorney's Office, FBI Prepared to Respond to Complaints of Election Fraud & Voting Rights Abuses
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha today reminded voters that his office and the local office of the FBI will lead efforts in Rhode Island with the Justice Department’s nationwide Election Day Program for the general elections tomorrow. The United States Attorney’s Office and the local office of the FBI is prepared to receive and review complaints of election fraud and voting rights abuses in consultation with Justice Department Headquarters in Washington.
The Department of Justice’s Election Day Program 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.
To report suspected election fraud or voting rights abuses at the polls in Rhode Island, the United States Attorney’s Office can be reached by the public at (401) 709-5068.
In addition, the FBI will have special agents available to receive allegations of election fraud and other election abuses on Election Day. The FBI field office in Rhode Island can be reached by the public at (401) 272-8310.
Complaints about ballot access problems or discrimination can be made directly to the Civil Rights Division’s Voting Section in Washington at 1-800-253-3931 or (202) 307-2767.