U.S. Attorney appoints district election officers
CINCINNATI – United States Attorney Kenneth L. Parker announced today that Assistant United States Attorney Jessica W. Knight will lead the Southern District of Ohio’s Election Day Program efforts for the general election tomorrow.
As the District Election Officer, Ms. Knight is responsible for overseeing the district’s handling of election day complaints of voting rights concerns, threats of violence to election officials or staff, and election fraud, in consultation with the Justice Department headquarters in Washington, D.C.
“Every citizen must be able to vote without interference or discrimination and to have that vote counted in a fair and free election,” said U.S. Attorney Parker. “Similarly, election officials and staff must be able to serve without being subject to unlawful threats of violence. The Department of Justice will always work tirelessly to protect the integrity of the election process.”
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 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).
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. Please direct allegations of election fraud and other election abuses to the FBI at 1-800-CALL FBI.
Deputy Criminal Chiefs Emily Glatfelter and Brent Tabacchi and Assistant U.S. Attorney Peter K. Glenn-Applegate are also serving as District Election Officers. Ms. Knight and Mr. Glenn-Applegate can be reached in Columbus at 614-469-5715. Ms. Glatfelter can be reached in Cincinnati at 513-684-3711. Mr. Tabacchi can be reached in Dayton at 937-225-2910.
Complaints about possible violations of the federal voting rights laws can be made directly to the Civil Rights Division in Washington, DC by phone at 800-253-3931 or by complaint form at https://civilrights.justice.gov/ .
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.
“Ensuring free and fair elections depends in large part on the assistance of the American electorate,” said U.S. Attorney Parker. “It is important that those who have specific information about voting rights concerns or election fraud make that information available to the Department of Justice.”
# # #