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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Central District of California

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, November 7, 2016

Assistant United States Attorney to Serve as District Election Officer for Seven Counties during November 8 General Election

            LOS ANGELES – United States Attorney Eileen M. Decker announced today that Assistant United States Attorney Mack E. Jenkins will serve as the District Election Officer during tomorrow’s general election and will lead the local efforts in connection with the Justice Department’s nationwide Election Day Program.

            As District Election Officer, AUSA Jenkins is responsible for overseeing the handling of complaints of election fraud and voting rights abuses. If complaints are received AUSA will coordinate with the FBI Field Office in Los Angeles and will consult with the Justice Department in Washington.

            AUSA Jenkins will serve as District Election Officer for the Central District of California, which includes the counties of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo.

            “Every citizen is entitled to cast a ballot without interference or discrimination, and has a right to have that vote counted,” said United States Attorney Decker. “The Department of Justice will act promptly and aggressively to protect the integrity of the election process.”

            “The right to vote in the United States is a privilege of our democratic society and every eligible American citizen is entitled to carry it out without unlawful interference,” said Deirdre Fike, the Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI's Los Angeles Field Office. “The FBI will play a role in protecting the rights of the American voter by investigating allegations of fraud or discrimination during the election process.”

            The Justice Department has an important role in deterring election fraud and discrimination at the polls, and will combat these violations whenever and wherever they occur. The Department’s long-standing Election Day Program furthers these goals, and 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 crimes such as intimidating or bribing voters, buying and selling votes, impersonating voters, altering vote tallies, stuffing ballot boxes, and marking ballots for voters against their wishes or without their input.

            Federal law also contains special protections for the rights of voters and provides that they can vote free from intimidation or harassment. For example, actions 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. Additional information about voting rights protected under federal law is available on the Justice Department’s website.

            In order to respond to complaints of election fraud or voting rights abuses on November 8 and to ensure that such complaints are directed to the appropriate authorities, AUSA Jenkins and AUSA Carol Chen will be on duty while the polls are open. Members of the public can reach them at the United States Attorney’s Office by calling (213) 894-2400.

            In addition, the FBI will have special agents available across the country to receive allegations of election fraud and other election abuses on election day. Agents at the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office can be reached by the public at (310) 477-6565.

            Complaints about possible violations of the federal voting rights laws can be made directly to the Civil Rights Division’s Voting Section in Washington by phone at (800) 253-3931, by fax at (202) 307-3961, by email at voting.section@usdoj.gov, or by using the complaint form at http://www.justice.gov/crt/complaint/votintake/index.php.

            “Ensuring free and fair elections depends in large part on the cooperation of the American electorate,” said United States Attorney Decker. “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 in Washington.”

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Updated November 7, 2016