GREENSBORO, N.C. – Middle District of North Carolina United States Attorney Ripley Rand announced today that Assistant United States Attorney Robert M. Hamilton will lead the efforts of the United States Attorney’s Office in connection with the Justice Department=s nationwide Election Day Program for the upcoming November 4, 2014, general elections. AUSA Hamilton has been appointed to serve as the Election Officer for the Middle District of North Carolina. In this capacity, AUSA Hamilton is responsible for overseeing the District=s handling of allegations of election fraud and voting rights abuses, as well as working in consultation with the Justice Department as to these allegations.
United States Attorney Ripley Rand said, "Every citizen must be able to vote without fear of interference or discrimination. Every citizen’s vote must be counted without fear that it will be 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 efforts to uncover illegal voting may violate federal voting rights law. Furthermore, federal law protects the right of voters to mark their own ballots or to be assisted in voting by a person of their choice.
Voting is the cornerstone of American democracy. We all must ensure that those who are entitled to vote exercise their rights if they choose, and that those who seek to corrupt the voting process are brought to justice. With respect to complaints of election fraud or voting rights abuses, United States Attorney Ripley Rand stated that AUSA Robert M. Hamilton will be on duty in the Middle District of North Carolina while the polls are open. AUSA Hamilton and the United States Attorney’s Office will ensure that such complaints are directed to the appropriate authorities. AUSA Hamilton can be reached by the public at the following telephone number: 336-333-5351.
Furthermore, the Federal Bureau of Investigation [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 local FBI field office can be reached by the public at 336-855-7770.
Complaints about possible violations of the federal voting rights laws can be made directly to the Civil Rights Division’s Voting Section in Washington by phone at 1-800-253-3931 or (202) 307-2767, by fax at (202) 307-3961, by email to email@example.com or by complaint form at http://www.justice.gov/crt/complaint/votintake/index.php.
United States Attorney Ripley Rand said, “Ensuring that our elections are free and fair depends in large part on the cooperation of the public. If you have specific information about voters being harassed or discriminated against, voter fraud, or other voting irregularities, please make that information available immediately to our Office, the FBI, or the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division.”