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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Florida

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, October 24, 2016

November 2016 Elections

Tampa, FL - United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announced today that Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA) Robert Mosakowski will lead the efforts of his Office in connection with the Justice Department’s nationwide Election Day Program for the upcoming November 8, 2016, general elections. AUSA Mosakowski has been appointed to serve as the District Election Officer (DEO) for the Middle District of Florida. In that capacity, he is 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 Bentley said, “Every citizen should be free to vote without interference and to have his or her vote count, without the fear that it will be stolen because of fraud. The Department of Justice will act promptly and aggressively to protect the integrity of the electoral process.”

The Department of Justice plays 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 for the public to report possible violations 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. Such acts may include questioning, challenging, photographing, or videotaping voters at polling places, under the pretext of uncovering violations of federal voting rights laws. 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, 2016, and to ensure that such complaints are directed to the appropriate authorities, United States Attorney Bentley stated that AUSA/DEO Mosakowski will be on duty in this District while the polls are open. Public complaints may be reported to him at (813) 274-6129.

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. Local FBI field offices can be reached by the public at either (813) 253-1000 (Tampa Division) or (904) 248-7000 (Jacksonville Division).

Complaints about possible violations of the federal voting rights laws also may be made directly to the Civil Rights Division’s Voting Section in Washington, DC either 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 www.justice.gov/crt/complaint/votintake.

“Ensuring free and fair elections depends, in large part, on the cooperation of the American public,” said U.S. Attorney Bentley. “It is imperative that anyone with specific information about discrimination or election fraud immediately contact my Office, the FBI, or the Civil Rights Division.”

Updated October 24, 2016