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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, October 21, 2022

U.S. Attorney Announces the Appointment of District Election Officer to Monitor Elections in West Tennessee

Memphis, TN – United States Attorney Kevin G. Ritz announced today that Assistant United States 
Attorney (AUSA) Scott Smith will lead the efforts of his Office in connection with the Justice 
Department’s nationwide Election Day Program for the upcoming November 8, 2022, general election. 
AUSA Scott Smith has been appointed to serve as the District Election Officer (DEO) for the Western 
District of Tennessee, and in that capacity 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 Justice Department Headquarters in Washington.

United States Attorney Ritz said, “Every citizen must be able to vote without interference or 
discrimination and to have that vote counted in a fair and free election. Similarly, election 
officials and staff must be able to serve without being subject to unlawful threats of violence. 
Our office and 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).

United States Attorney Ritz stated that: “The franchise is the cornerstone of American democracy. 
We all must ensure that those who are entitled to the franchise can exercise it if they choose, and 
that those who seek to corrupt it are brought to justice. In order to respond to complaints of 
voting rights concerns and election fraud during the upcoming election, and to ensure that such 
complaints are directed to the appropriate authorities, AUSA/DEO Smith will be on duty in this 
District while the polls are open. He can be reached by the public at the following telephone 
numbers: 901-544-4231 and 901-969- 2962.”

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. On November 7, 2022, 8am-4pm, and on Election Day, Tuesday, November 8, 2022, 
6am-8pm, the local FBI field office will be available to the public at 901-747-9506. During the 
broader election cycle, the local FBI field office can be reached 24/7 by the public at 
901-747-9650.

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/.


United States Attorney Ritz said, “Ensuring free and fair elections depends in large part on the 
assistance of the American electorate. 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.”

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.


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For more information, please contact Public Information Officer Cherri Green at (901) 544-4231 or cherri.green@usdoj.gov. Follow @WDTNNews on Twitter for office news and updates.

Updated October 21, 2022