You are here

Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Florida

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, November 1, 2018

U.S. Attorney Fajardo Orshan Encourages the Public to Report Election Fraud and Voting Rights Abuses

U.S. Attorney Ariana Fajardo Orshan announced today that Assistant U.S. Attorney (AUSA) Harry Wallace will lead the efforts of U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida in connection with the Justice Department’s nationwide Election Day Program for the upcoming November 6, 2018, general elections.  AUSA Wallace has been appointed to serve as the District Election Officer (DEO) for the Southern District of Florida and in that capacity 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, D.C.

“Every citizen has the right to vote without interference or discrimination and to have that vote counted,” said U.S. Attorney Fajardo Oshan.  “The U.S. Attorney’s Office, Department of Justice and our FBI partners are committed to protecting the integrity of the election process.  Anyone with information regarding voter fraud or election abuses is encouraged to immediately contact our local FBI Elections Crime Coordinator or District Election Officer Harry Wallace.”

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 complete 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 vote exercise that right if they 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 November 6, 2018, and to ensure that such complaints are directed to the appropriate authorities, an Election Crimes Coordinator (ECC) of the FBI’s Miami field office and Southern District of Florida District Election Officer AUSA Harry Wallace will be on duty while the polls are open on Election Day to receive allegations of election fraud and other election abuses.  If the public has any concerns regarding possible election fraud or voting rights abuses, they are encouraged to directly contact FBI ECC at (754) 703-2000 or AUSA/DEO Wallace at (305) 961-9401.

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 by the public at (754) 703-2000.

Complaints about possible violations of the federal voting rights laws can also 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 email to voting.section@usdoj.gov or by complaint form at http://www.justice.gov/crt/complaint/votintake/index.php.

Updated November 1, 2018