District Elections Officers Available Nov. 8 to Receive Complaints of Election Fraud or Voting Rights Abuses
U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance announced today that Assistant U.S. Attorneys Pat Meadows and Ramona Albin will lead the efforts of her office in connection with the Justice Department’s nationwide Election Day Program for the upcoming Nov. 8 general elections.
Vance appointed Meadows and Albin to serve as the district election officers for the Northern District of Alabama, and in that capacity they are responsible for overseeing the district’s handling of any complaints of election fraud or voting rights abuses in consultation with Justice Department headquarters in Washington, D.C.
“Every citizen must be able to vote without interference or discrimination, and to have that vote counted without it being stolen because of fraud,” Vance said. 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 so the public may 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 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.
The right to vote is the cornerstone of American democracy. We all must ensure that those who are entitled to the franchise exercise it if they so 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 Nov. 8, and to ensure that such complaints are directed to the appropriate authorities, Vance said that the district election officers, Meadows and Albin, will be on duty in the Northern District while the polls are open. The public can reach them at the following telephone number: (205) 244-2001.
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 public can reach the local FBI field office at 205-326-6166.
Complaints about possible violations of the federal voting rights laws can be made directly to the Civil Rights Division’s Voting Section in Washington, D.C., 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.
“Ensuring free and fair elections depends in large part on the cooperation of the American electorate,” Vance said. “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.”