(STL.News) – Four Assistant U.S. Attorneys in the Southern District of Georgia have been appointed to serve as District Election Officers (DEOs) for the Nov. 3 General Election.
In consultation with the U.S. Department of Justice Headquarters in Washington, D.C., Assistant U.S. Attorneys (AUSAs) Jennifer Kirkland, Joshua S. Bearden, Channell Singh and Jason Blanchard will review any complaints of election fraud and voting rights abuses in the Southern District, said Bobby L. Christine, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia.
“Led by these AUSAs, our office will act promptly and aggressively to protect the rights of our citizens to vote without interference or discrimination,” said U.S. Attorney Christine. “Each legally registered voter must be able to freely exercise his or her right to vote, and we will help ensure their votes aren’t stolen because of fraud.”
The Justice Department’s election day program furthers the long-standing goals of deterring election fraud and discrimination at the polls, and of ensuring public confidence in the integrity of the election process by providing local points of contact within the Department for the public to report possible 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. For example, it may be a violation of federal voting rights law for individuals to attempt to interrupt or intimidate voters at polling places by questioning or challenging them, or by photographing or videotaping them, under the pretext that these are actions to uncover illegal voting. 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).
In order to respond to complaints of election fraud or voting rights abuses on Election Day, and to ensure that such complaints are directed to the appropriate authorities, a District Election Officer will be on call in the Southern District through election day and may be reached by calling 912-652-4422.
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.