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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of New Jersey

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, October 31, 2016

U.S. Attorney's Office Reminds New Jersey Voters About Election Day Hotline For Complaints Of Voting Irregularities Or Abuses

NEWARK, N.J. – U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman is reminding voters that the U.S. Attorney’s Office will receive and respond to reports of election irregularities, voter intimidation or any other activities that would interfere with a citizen’s right to vote on Nov. 8, 2016. The Election Day Hotline – (888) 636-6596 – will be active Nov. 7, 2016 through Nov. 9, 2016, and will be staffed live on Election day in English and in Spanish.

Each year the U.S. Attorney’s Office and its federal law enforcement partners, led by the FBI, work cooperatively with the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office and county boards of elections to respond to voter complaints and direct them to the appropriate authority.

The Justice Department seeks to ensure that all qualified voters have the opportunity to cast their ballots and have their votes counted, without discrimination, intimidation or fraud. Established in 2010, this yearly initiative is intended to foster public confidence in the integrity of the election process by providing local points of contact within the Justice Department for the public to report possible fraud and voting rights violations while 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 voters so they can vote free from intimidation or harassment. For example, actions designed to interrupt or intimidate voters at polling places by questioning, challenging, 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 be assisted by a person of their choice.

The Department of Justice Civil Rights Division staff in Washington also will be available by phone to receive complaints related to voting rights (1-800-253-3931 toll free or 202-307-2767) or by TTY (202-514-0716).  In addition, individuals may also report complaints, problems, or concerns related to voting by fax to 202-307-3961, by email to voting.section@usdoj.gov, and via complaint forms that may be submitted through a link on the Justice Department’s website, at http://www.justice.gov/crt/complaint/votintake/index.php.

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Updated October 31, 2016