U.S. Attorney Carter Stewart Appoints District Election Officers
COLUMBUS -- United States Attorney Carter M. Stewart announced today that he has designated Election Officers in each of the district’s three offices who will lead the efforts in connection with the Justice Department’s nationwide Election Day Program for the upcoming November 4, 2014, elections.
Columbus Branch Chief Gary Spartis,
Cincinnati Branch Chief Anthony Springer, (513) 684-3711
Dayton Branch Chief Laura Clemmens, (937) 225-2910
As District Election Officers, they 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.
“It’s our duty to ensure that all qualified voters have the opportunity to cast their ballots and have their votes counted free of discrimination, intimidation, or fraud in the election process,” U.S. Attorney Stewart said.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office, in coordination with the Department of Justice’s Public Integrity Section, is responsible for enforcing the federal criminal laws that prohibit various forms of election fraud, such as vote buying, multiple voting, submission of fraudulent ballots or registrations, destruction of ballots or registrations, alteration of votes, and malfeasance by election officials.
Federal law protects against such crimes as intimidating or bribing voters, buying and selling votes, 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.
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. Residents can contact the Columbus FBI resident office at (614) 224-1183, the Cincinnati field office at (513) 421-4310 and the Dayton resident office at (937) 222-7485.
Civil Rights Division staff at the Department of Justice 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 (202-305-0082). In addition, individuals may also report complaints, problems, or concerns related to voting by fax to 202-307-3961, by email to email@example.com, and, by complaint forms that may be submitted through a link on the Department’s website, at www.justice.gov/crt/about/vot/.
“Both protecting the right to vote and combating election fraud are essential to maintaining the confidence of all Americans in our democratic system of government,” Stewart said. “We encourage anyone who has information suggesting voting discrimination or ballot fraud to contact the appropriate authorities.”