TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA – United States Attorney Christopher P. Canova will lead the efforts of the United States Attorney's Office, Northern District of Florida, in connection with the Justice Department’s nationwide Election Day Program for the upcoming November 6, 2018, general election. As District Election Officer, United States Attorney Canova 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.
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 Canova will be on duty as District Election Officer in the Northern District of Florida while the polls are open. He can be reached at 850-942-8430.
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 local FBI field office can be reached at 904-248-7000.
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 e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by complaint form at http://www.justice.gov/crt/complaint/votintake/index.php.
United States Attorney Christopher P. Canova said, “The freedom to exercise the right to vote is the cornerstone of American democracy. 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. The Department of Justice will act aggressively to ensure that those who are entitled to vote may do so and that those who seek to corrupt the integrity of the process are brought to justice.”
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 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 United States Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Florida is one of 94 offices that serve as the nation’s principal litigators under the direction of the Attorney General. To access public court documents online, please visit the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida website. For more information about the United States Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Florida, visit http://www.justice.gov/usao/fln/index.html.