U.S. Attorney Announces the Appointment of District Election Officer to Monitor Elections in West Tennessee
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of 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
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
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
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.
For more information, please contact Public Information Officer Cherri Green at (901) 544-4231 or email@example.com. Follow @WDTNNews on Twitter for office news and updates.
Updated October 21, 2022