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PORTLAND, Ore.—U.S. Attorney Natalie Wight announced today the appointment of two District Election Officers to oversee the handling of complaints of voting rights concerns, threats of violence to election officials or staff, and election fraud in the District of Oregon for the upcoming November 8, 2022, general election.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Quinn P. Harrington and Austin Rice-Stitt will lead the office’s efforts in coordination with the Justice Department’s nationwide Election Day Program.
The Department of Justice has an important role in deterring and combatting discrimination and intimidation at the polls, threats of violence directed at election officials and poll workers, and election fraud. The department will address these violations wherever they occur. The department’s longstanding Election Day Program furthers these goals and also seeks to ensure public confidence in the electoral process by providing local points of contact within the department for the public to report possible federal election law violations.
Federal law protects against such crimes as threatening violence against election officials or staff, 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 interference, including intimidation, and other acts designed to prevent or discourage people from voting or voting for the candidate of their choice. The Voting Rights Act 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 inability to read or write in English).
If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, please call 911.
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 FBI Portland Field Office can be reached by calling (503) 224-4181.
Complaints about possible violations of the federal voting rights laws can be made directly to the Civil Rights Division in Washington, D.C. by calling (800) 253-3931 or submitting an online complaint form at https://civilrights.justice.gov.
If you have questions about the Justice Department’s Election Day Program in Oregon or need assistance directing election-related complaints to the proper authorities, District Election Officers Harrington and Rice-Stitt can be reached by calling (503) 727-1000.
Please note, however, in the case of a crime of violence or intimidation, please call 911 immediately and before contacting federal authorities. State and local police have primary jurisdiction over polling places, and almost always have faster reaction capacity in an emergency.