In 1980, the Election Crimes Branch was created within the Public Integrity Section to oversee the Justice Department’s nationwide response to election crimes. Oversight in this area is designed to ensure uniformity, impartiality, and effectiveness. The Election Crimes Branch oversees the Department’s handling of all election crime allegations other than those involving voter intimidation and voter suppression on grounds of race, color, religion, or national origin, which are handled by the Civil Rights Division.
Specifically, the Branch provides advice and guidance on five types of election crime cases: (1) voting fraud, such as vote buying and absentee ballot fraud; (2) campaign finance crimes, including those under the Federal Election Campaign Act; (3) patronage crimes, such as political shakedowns and misuse of federal programs for political purposes; (4) frauds affecting elections, such as fraudulent fundraising schemes, including scam-political action committees or scam-PACs; and (5) criminal violations of federal voting rights statutes that do not have a basis in race, color, national origin, or religion. The Election Crimes Branch publishes a monograph, Federal Prosecution of Election Offenses, now in its eighth edition, which assists federal prosecutors and investigators to discharge the responsibility of the Department of Justice in attacking corruption of the election process with all available statutes and theories of prosecution. A regularly updated Pocket Part to this monograph will be uploaded to this page when available.
The election-related work of the Section and its Election Crimes Branch falls into the following categories:
• Investigation and prosecution of significant election crime-related matters
• Consultation and support of prosecutors and investigators around the nation
• District Election Officer Program
• Inter-Agency Liaison with the Federal Election Commission
• Inter-Agency Liaison with the Office of Special Counsel
The Director of the Election Crimes Branch reviews all major election crime investigations throughout the country and all proposed criminal charges relating to election crimes. For contact information for District Election Officers, please click here.
Federal Prosecution of Election Offenses Manual
Election Community Guidance for Reporting Threats of Violence