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LOUISVILLE, Ky. - United States Attorneys Kerry B. Harvey and David J. Hale announced the appointment of Assistant United States Attorneys to serve as District Election Officers in connection with the Justice Department’s nationwide Election Day Program for the upcoming November 4, 2014 general elections.
Assistant United States Attorney Ken Taylor has been appointed to serve as the District Election Officer (DEO) for the Eastern District of Kentucky and Assistant United States Attorney Josh Judd has been appointed to serve as the DEO for the Western District of Kentucky. In that capacity they are each responsible for overseeing their Districts’ handling of complaints of election fraud and voting rights abuses in consultation with Justice Department Headquarters in Washington.
“Every citizen has a right to vote without interference or discrimination and to have that vote counted in a fairly conducted election,” stated Kerry B. Harvey, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky. “The Department of Justice will act promptly and aggressively to protect the integrity of the election process.”
“Ensuring free and fair elections depends in large part on the cooperation of the American electorate,” stated David J. Hale, United States Attorney for the Western District of Kentucky. “It is imperative that those who have specific information about discrimination or election fraud make that information available immediately to my Office, the FBI, or the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department.”
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, 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 order to respond to complaints of election fraud or voting rights abuses on November 4, 2014, and to ensure that such complaints are directed to the appropriate authorities, AUSA/DEO Josh Judd will be on duty in Louisville while the polls are open. He can be reached by the public at the following telephone number: (502) 625-7049. AUSA/DEO Ken Taylor will be on duty in Lexington, while the polls are open and can be reached by the public at the following telephone numbers: (859) 685-4874 or (859) 321-9488.
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 (859) 246-4700 in Lexington and (502) 263-6000 in Louisville.
Complaints about ballot access problems or discrimination can be made directly to the Civil Rights Division’s Voting Section in Washington at 1-800-253-3931 or (202) 307-2767.