District Election Officers Appointed to Receive Election Day Complaints
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – United States Attorney Jessica D. Aber announced today that Assistant United States Attorneys Jordan Harvey, Avi Panth, and Anthony Mozzi, will lead the efforts of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia (EDVA) in connection with the Justice Department’s nationwide Election Day Program for the upcoming November 8, 2022, general election.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Harvey has been appointed to serve as the District Election Officers (DEO) for the Northern Virginia region, Assistant U.S. Attorney Panth for the Central Capitol region, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Mozzi for the Tidewater region. In this capacity, they are responsible for overseeing the District’s handling of Election Day complaints of voting rights concerns, threats of violence to election officials or staff, and election fraud, in consultation with Justice Department Headquarters in Washington.
“The ability to vote freely and without interference is the right of every eligible American,” said U.S. Attorney Aber. “In order for fair, impartial elections to take place, election officials and staff must be able to do their work in facilitating the vote without suffering threats or violence. EDVA, in partnership with the Department of Justice, has taken the measure of appointing these District Election Officers with the intent of responding rapidly and effectively to any reports of voting-related criminal conduct to ensure our district’s election process is lawful and accurate.”
The Department of Justice and EDVA have an important role in deterring and combatting discrimination and intimidation at the polls, threats of violence directed at election officials and poll workers, and election fraud. The Department will address these violations wherever they occur. The Department’s longstanding Election Day Program furthers these goals and also seeks to ensure public confidence in the electoral process by providing local points of contact within the Department for the public to report possible federal election law violations.
Federal law protects against such crimes as threatening violence against election officials or staff, 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 interference, including intimidation, and other acts designed to prevent or discourage people from voting or voting for the candidate of their choice. The Voting Rights Act protects the right of voters to mark their own ballot or to be assisted by a person of their choice (where voters need assistance because of disability or inability to read or write in English).
In order to respond to complaints of voting rights concerns and election fraud 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 Jordan Harvey, 703-299-3700
Norfolk and Newport News - Assistant U.S. Attorney Anthony Mozzi, 757-441-6331
Richmond - Assistant U.S. Attorney Avi Panth, 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 also be made directly to the Civil Rights Division in Washington, DC by phone at 800-253-3931 or by complaint form at https://civilrights.justice.gov/ .
In the case of a crime of violence or intimidation, please call 911 immediately and before contacting federal authorities. State and local police have primary jurisdiction over polling places, and almost always have faster reaction capacity in an emergency.
A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information are located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.