District Election Officer on Duty for November 8, 2016
United States Attorney Annette L. Hayes announced today that Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA) Arlen Storm will lead the Office’s work in connection with the Justice Department’s nationwide Election Day Program for the upcoming November 8, 2016, general elections. 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.
United States Attorney Annette L. Hayes said, “Every citizen has the right to vote without interference or discrimination, and to have that vote counted without fraud in the electoral process. The Department of Justice will act promptly and aggressively to protect the integrity of the election.”
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. It seeks to ensure public confidence in the integrity of the election process by providing local points of contact within the Department to whom the public can 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 of intimidation or harassment. For example, actions designed to interrupt or intimidate voters 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.
The right to vote is the cornerstone of American democracy. We all must ensure that those who are entitled to the franchise be allowed 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 8, 2016, 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: (253) 428-3807.
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. 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, D.C. 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.
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.