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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, November 5, 2018

United States Attorney Brady Announces Department of Justice Efforts to Protect the Right to Vote

PITTSBURGH - U.S. Attorney Scott W. Brady today announced the appointment of Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric Olshan to lead the efforts of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Pennsylvania in connection with the Justice Department’s nationwide Election Day program for the Nov. 6, 2018 general election.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Olshan will serve as the District Election Officer for the Western District of Pennsylvania. In that capacity, he is responsible for overseeing the handling of complaints of election fraud and voting rights abuses in the 25 counties in the Western District of Pennsylvania, in consultation with Justice Department headquarters.

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 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 of Justice 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. 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, and to ensure that such complaints are directed to the appropriate authorities, Assistant U.S. Attorney Olshan will be on duty while the polls are open. Assistant U.S. Attorney Olshan can be reached by the public at 412-894-7446.

Nationally, the FBI has Special Agents in each Field Office and Resident Agency throughout the country to receive allegations of election fraud and other election abuses. In the Western District of Pennsylvania, the FBI can be reached at 412-432-4000.

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 to voting.section@usdoj.gov (link sends e-mail) or by complaint form at http://www.justice.gov/crt/complaint/votintake/index.php.

Topic(s): 
Access to Justice
Updated November 5, 2018