U.S. Attorney Announces the Appointment of the District Election Officer for the Northern District of Alabama
U.S. Attorney Jay E. Town announced today that he has appointed Assistant U.S. Attorney (AUSA) Jason R. Cheek to serve as the district election officer for the Northern District of Alabama. In that capacity, AUSA Cheek is responsible for overseeing the district’s handling of any complaints of election fraud or voting rights abuses in consultation with Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.
“The right to vote is the cornerstone of our great democracy. The Department of Justice will ensure that every citizen who is entitled to vote is able to do so without undue interference or discrimination,” Town said. “My office will act promptly and aggressively to protect the integrity of our election process.”
In order to respond to complaints of election fraud or voting rights abuses on November 6, and to ensure that such complaints are directed to the appropriate authorities, Town said that AUSA Cheek will be on duty in the Northern District while the polls are open on election day. The public can reach him at the following telephone number: (205) 244-2001.
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.
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.
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.