District Election Officer on Duty for November 2018 Elections
United States Attorney Annette L. Hayes announced today that Assistant United States Attorney Arlen Storm will lead the Office’s work in connection with the Justice Department’s nationwide Election Day Program for the upcoming November 6, 2018, general election. AUSA Storm is the District Election Officer (DEO) for the Western District of Washington, and in that capacity is responsible for overseeing the District’s handling of complaints of election fraud and voting rights abuses in consultation with the Justice Department in Washington D.C.
“It is imperative that anyone who has specific information about discrimination or election fraud provide that information in a timely manner to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the FBI, or the Civil Rights Division,” said United States Attorney Annette L. Hayes. “Every citizen must be able to vote without interference or discrimination and to have that vote counted without fraud in the election process. The Department of Justice will act promptly and aggressively to protect the integrity of the election process.”
The Department of Justice has an important role in deterring election fraud and discrimination, 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 election is ongoing.
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 by questioning or challenging them, or by photographing or videotaping them in the voting process, 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 right to vote is the cornerstone of American democracy. We all must ensure that those who are entitled to the franchise are able to 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, including on November 6, 2018, and to ensure that such complaints are directed to the appropriate authorities, United States Attorney Annette L. Hayes stated that AUSA/DEO Storm is on duty while voting is ongoing in Western Washington. He can be reached by the public at the following telephone number: 206-553-7970.
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 while voting is ongoing, including on November 6, 2018. The local FBI field office can be reached by the public at 206 622-0460.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or by complaint form at http://www.justice.gov/crt/complaint/votintake/index.php.