Department of Justice 2018 Election Security Fact Sheet
In anticipation of the upcoming midterm elections on November 6, 2018, the Department of Justice today provided information about its efforts through the Civil Rights Division, the Criminal Division, the National Security Division, and the FBI to assist state and local jurisdictions in ensuring that all qualified voters have the opportunity to cast their ballots and have their votes counted free of discrimination, intimidation or fraud in the election process.
“The Department of Justice and its component agencies protect our democratic process year-round,” said Attorney General Jeff Sessions. “During election season, we put in place additional security awareness and monitoring measures with our federal, state, and local partners to ensure the securest possible settings for our elections. Any attempts to interfere or subvert our democratic process by foreign or domestic entities will be met with severe consequences. The American people can be confident that their voices will be heard.”
Complaints related to violence, threats of violence, or intimidation at a polling place should always be reported immediately to local authorities by calling 911. They should also be reported to the Department of Justice after local authorities are contacted.
Below is a list of recent and ongoing action the Department of Justice has undertaken to ensure election security. The Department of Justice works year-round to ensure free and fair elections for all Americans.
Department of Justice’s Election Day Watch Program
In order to strengthen election security efforts, the Department of Justice and the FBI will host a live Election Day Watch at the FBI’s Strategic Information and Operations Center. President Trump outlined the Administration’s efforts to protect the elections from foreign interference in a Sept. 12 announcement.
Civil Rights Division
On Nov. 6, the Civil Rights Division will implement a comprehensive program to help protect the right to vote that will include the following:
- The Civil Rights Division will conduct monitoring in the field at polling places around the country.
- Civil Rights Division staff in Washington, D.C., will be ready to receive election-related complaints of potential violations relating to any of the federal statutes the division enforces. The division will take appropriate action and will coordinate with other entities within the Department of Justice concerning these complaints before, during, and after Election Day.
- Civil Rights Division staff will be available to receive complaints related to voting by telephone (1-800-253-393 or 202-307-2767) or by TTY (202-305-0082), by fax (202-307-3961), by email (firstname.lastname@example.org), and by complaint form on the Department of Justice’s website at https://www.justice.gov/crt/voting-section.
For more information on the Justice Department's efforts to protect the right to vote and prosecute ballot fraud, see here and here.
On Nov. 6, the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices will work with specially trained FBI personnel in each district to ensure that complaints from the public involving possible voter fraud are handled appropriately. Specifically:
- In consultation with federal prosecutors at the Department of Justice’s Public Integrity Section in Washington, D.C., the District Election Officers in U.S. Attorneys’ Offices, FBI officials at Headquarters in Washington, D.C., and FBI special agents serving as Election Crime Coordinators in the FBI’s 56 field offices will be on duty while polls are open, to receive complaints from the public.
- Election-crime complaints should be directed to the local U.S. Attorney’s Office or the local FBI office. A list of U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and their telephone numbers can be found at https://www.justice.gov/usao/find-your-united-states-attorney. A list of FBI offices and accompanying telephone numbers can be found at https://www.fbi.gov/contact-us/
- Department of Justice Public Integrity Section prosecutors are available to consult and coordinate with the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the FBI regarding the handling of election-crime allegations.
For more information on the Criminal Division’s efforts to fight election crime, see here and here.
National Security Division
On Nov. 6, National Security Division attorneys will participate in interagency Election Day sync meetings to ensure that the Department of Justice is aware of the latest information from the Intelligence Community, to secure necessary authorizations from Department leadership in the event of a federal response, and to coordinate any interagency response.
In addition, lawyers from the National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section and Counterespionage Section will be co-located at the FBI’s national monitoring Command Post (CP) at the Strategic Information and Operations Center (SIOC) at FBI Headquarters to provide operational guidance to local U.S Attorney’s Office and FBI field offices in the event of any election-related incident involving international or domestic terrorism, malicious cyber activities, or other threats to national security.
For more information on the National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section, see here.
Report of The Attorney General’s Cyber Digital Task Force
On July 19, 2018, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein formally issued the Report of The Attorney General’s Cyber Digital Task Force in response to the establishment of the Cyber Digital Task Force by Attorney General Jeff Sessions in February of 2018. The report addresses the Department of Justice’s efforts to address cyber-enabled threats, including malign foreign influence operations that target U.S. elections. The Deputy Attorney General’s full remarks at the Aspen Security Forum can be found here.