Assistant United States Attorneys to Serve as District Election Officers for Seven Counties during November 6 General Election
LOS ANGELES – United States Attorney Nicola T. Hanna announced today that Assistant United States Attorneys Erik M. Silber and Lindsey Greer Dotson will serve as the District Election Officers during Tuesday’s general election and will lead the local efforts in connection with the Justice Department’s nationwide Election Day Program.
As the District Election Officers, AUSAs Dotson and Silber will be responsible for overseeing the handling of complaints related to election fraud and voting rights abuses. If complaints are received, the AUSAs will coordinate with the FBI Field Office in Los Angeles and will consult with the Justice Department in Washington.
AUSAs Silber and Dotson will serve as the District Election Officers for the Central District of California, which includes the counties of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo.
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 Justice Department for the public to report possible election fraud and voting rights violations while the polls are open on Tuesday, November 6.
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.
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, which serves the same seven counties as the United States Attorney’s Office, can be reached by the public at (310) 477-6565.
In order to respond to complaints of election fraud or voting rights abuses on November 6 and to ensure that such complaints are directed to the appropriate authorities, AUSAs Dotson and Silber 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.
On Election Day, the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division staff members will be available all day by telephone to receive complaints from the public related to possible violations of the federal voting rights laws (1-800-253-3931 or TTY 202-305-0082). In addition, individuals may also report complaints by fax to 202-307-3961, by email to firstname.lastname@example.org, and by a complaint form on the Department’s website: www.justice.gov/crt/votercomplaint.
Complaints related to disruption at a polling place should always be reported immediately to local election officials, including officials in the polling place. Complaints related to violence, threats of violence or intimidation at a polling place should be reported immediately to local police authorities by calling 911. These complaints should also be reported to the Justice Department after local authorities have been contacted.
Last week, the Department of Justice provided information about its efforts through the Civil Rights Division and Criminal Division to ensure 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.