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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Louisiana

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, October 30, 2018

U.S. Attorney David Joseph implements November 6th Election Day program to prevent fraud and protect voting rights

SHREVEPORT, LAFAYETTE, MONROE, ALEXANDRIA, LAKE CHARLES, La. – United States Attorney David C. Joseph announced today that First Assistant U.S. Attorney Alexander Van Hook and Assistant U.S. Attorney Karen King will lead his office’s Election Day monitoring as part of a greater Department of Justice program to monitor voting rights abuses and election fraud across the country.

“Every citizen has the right to vote without interference or discrimination and to have that vote counted,” Joseph said. “The Department of Justice will act promptly and aggressively to protect the integrity of the election process.  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 Department’s Civil Rights Division.”

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, Van Hook and King will be on duty in this District while the polls are open.  Van Hook can be reached by the public at our Shreveport office at 318-676-3600; and King can be reached at our Lafayette office at 337-262-6618.

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.  Local FBI field offices can be reached by the public in  Shreveport at 318-861-1890, Monroe at 318-387-0773, Alexandria at 318-443-5097, Lafayette at 337-233-2164 and Lake Charles at 318-433-6353.

Complaints about possible violations of the federal voting rights laws can be made directly to the Civil Rights Division’s Voting Section in Washington, D.C., by phone at 1-800-253-3931 and 202-307-2767, fax at 202-307-3961, email to voting.section@usdoj.gov or complaint form at www.justice.gov/crt/complaint/votintake/index.php.

“My office works hard to ensure that our District has free and fair elections,” Joseph stated. “We urge the public to report specific information about discrimination or election fraud immediately.”

Updated October 30, 2018