United States Attorneys Announce Election Day Program
United States Attorneys Peter Deegan and Marc Krickbaum announced today that Assistant United States Attorneys (AUSAs) Daniel Tvedt and Virginia Bruner will lead the efforts of their respective Office in connection with the Justice Department’s nationwide Election Day Program for the upcoming November 6, 2018, general election. In that capacity, AUSA Tvedt and AUSA Bruner are responsible for overseeing the District’s handling of complaints of election fraud and voting rights abuses in consultation with Justice Department Headquarters in Washington.
United States Attorney for the Southern District of Iowa Krickbaum said, “Every citizen must be able to vote without interference or discrimination and to have that vote counted. The Department of Justice will act promptly and aggressively to protect the integrity of the election process.”
United States Attorney Deegan said, “Ensuring free and fair elections depends in large part on the cooperation of all members of the public. I am asking that anyone with specific information about discrimination or election fraud immediately contact my Office, the FBI, or the Civil Rights Division. We all must do our part to safeguard the integrity of our elections and protect everyone’s right to vote.”
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 franchise is the cornerstone of American democracy. We all must ensure that those who are entitled to the franchise exercise it 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, AUSA/DEO Tvedt and Bruner will be on duty while the polls are open. AUSA Tvedt can be reached by the public at the following telephone number: 319-363-6333. AUSA Bruner can be reached by the public at the following telephone number: 515-473-9300.
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 offices can be reached by the public at 319-366-2461 (Cedar Rapids) or 515-223-4278 (Des Moines).
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 email or by complaint form.