District Election Officers Appointed to Handle Potential Complaints of Election Fraud and Voting Rights Abuse
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Assistant U.S. Attorneys James P. Gillis, Randy Stoker, and L. Margaret Harker have been appointed to serve as District Election Officers (DEO) for the Eastern District of Virginia, and will lead the efforts of this office in connection with the Justice Department’s nationwide Election Day Program for the upcoming general elections.
District Election Officers are responsible for overseeing the district’s handling of complaints of election fraud and voting rights abuses in consultation with Justice Department Headquarters in Washington, D.C.
“Every citizen must be able to vote without interference or discrimination,” said U.S. Attorney Dana J. Boente. “They need to have that vote counted without it being stolen because of fraud. The Department of Justice will act promptly and aggressively to protect the integrity of the election process.”
The Department of Justice has an important role in deterring election fraud and discrimination at the polls, and combating these violations whenever and wherever they occur. The Department’s long-standing Election Day Program furthers these goals, and also 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 such crimes 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. It also contains special protections for the rights of voters and provides that they can vote free from acts that intimidate or harass them. For example, actions of persons 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.
In order to respond to complaints of election fraud or voting rights abuses on November 8, the DEOs will be on duty while the polls are open.
From 6 a.m. to 8:30 a.m., and from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., any calls should be directed to 703-299-3700. From 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., calls should be directed to the below phone numbers:
Alexandria - Assistant U.S. Attorney James P. Gillis, 703-299-3700
Norfolk and Newport News - Assistant U.S. Attorney Randy Stoker, 757-441-6331
Richmond - Assistant U.S. Attorney L. Margaret Harker, 804-819-5400
In addition, the FBI will have special agents available in each field office and resident agency throughout the country to receive allegations of election fraud and other election abuses on election day.
Complaints about possible violations of the federal voting rights laws can be made directly to the Civil Rights Division’s Voting Section in Washington, DC by phone at 1-800-253-3931 or (202) 307-2767, by fax at (202) 307-3961, by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by complaint form at http://www.justice.gov/crt/complaint/votintake/index.php.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia.