DISTRICT ELECTION OFFICER APPOINTED TO OVERSEE COMPLAINTS ON ELECTION DAY
Assistant United States Attorney to Field Complaints on Fraud or Voting Rights Abuse
United States Attorney Jeffrey C. Sullivan announced today that Mark Parrent, an Assistant United States Attorney in the Western District of Washington, will lead the efforts of his Office in the connection with the Justice Department’s nationwide Election Day Program for the upcoming November 4, 2008, general elections. AUSA Parrent has been appointed to serve as the District Election Officer, 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.
On October 8, 2002, Attorney General Ashcroft established a Department-wide Ballot Access and Voting Integrity Initiative. The goals of this Initiative are to increase the Department’s ability to deter voter intimidation, suppression, discrimination and election fraud 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 diminished or harmed. The Department’s long-standing 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 on election day. The right to vote is the cornerstone of American democracy. We all must ensure that those who are entitled to the right to vote 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 4, 2008, and to ensure that such complaints are directed to the appropriate authorities, Assistant United States Attorney Parrent will be on duty in this District while the polls are open. He can be reached by the public at the following telephone numbers: (206) 553-4113 or (206) 553-4110. Or he can be contacted by email at Publiccomment@usdoj.gov.
The FBI will also have Special Agents available in each field office and resident agency in this District to receive allegations of election fraud, intimidation, suppression and other election abuses. The FBI can be reached by the public at (206) 622-0460 or by email at FBISE@Leo.gov.
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. Where voter intimidation or suppression tactics target voters on the basis of race, color, religion, or national origin, please contact the Civil Rights Division’s Criminal Section at (202) 514-3204.
United States Attorney Jeff Sullivan said, “Election fraud and voting rights abuses dilute the worth of votes honestly cast. They also corrupt the essence of our representative form of government. Anyone who has information suggesting electoral corruption or voting rights abuses should make that information available immediately to my Office, the FBI, or the Civil Rights Division.”
For additional information please contact Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney’s Office, at (206) 553-4110.