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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Washington

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, November 1, 2018

United States Attorney Harrington Appoints District Election Officer in Support of Department of Justice Election Day Program

Assistant U.S. Attorney Ian Garriques will serve as the District Election Officer and will field calls from the public regarding allegations of fraud or voting rights abuses

Spokane – Joseph H. Harrington, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, announced today that Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA) Ian Garriques will lead the efforts of his Office in connection with the Justice Department’s nationwide Election Day Program for the upcoming November 6, 2018, general election. AUSA Garriques has been appointed to serve as the District Election Officer (DEO) for the Eastern District of Washington; and in that capacity, he will be responsible for overseeing the District’s handling of complaints of election fraud and voting rights abuses in consultation with Justice Department Headquarters in Washington.

United States Attorney Harrington said, “Every citizen must be able to vote without interference or discrimination and to have that vote counted without it being stolen or diminished because of fraud or abuse. 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 during general elections, 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 during voting for the November 6 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 of intimidation or harassment. For example, actions of persons designed to interrupt or intimidate voters from submitting their ballots via mail, ballot drop box locations, or accessible voting units or centers, or 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 (where voters need assistance because of disability or illiteracy).

The franchise is the cornerstone of American democracy. We all must ensure that those who are entitled to the franchise exercise it if they choose, and that those who seek to corrupt it are brought to justice. In order to respond to complaints of election fraud or voting rights abuses on November 6, 2018, and to ensure that such complaints are directed to the appropriate authorities, United States Attorney Harrington stated that AUSA/DEO Garriques is on duty in the Eastern District of Washington. He can be reached by the public at the following telephone number: (509) 454-4425.

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. The appropriate FBI field office can be reached by the public at (206) 622-0460 or to https://tips.fbi.gov.

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 voting.section@usdoj.gov or by complaint form at http://www.justice.gov/crt/complaint/votintake/index.php.

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

Updated November 2, 2018