PRESS RELEASE from U.S. Department of Justice
November 2, 2012

Justice Department to Monitor Polls in 23 States on Election Day

The Justice Department announced today that its Civil Rights Division plans to deploy more than 780 federal observers and department personnel to 51 jurisdictions in 23 states for the Nov. 6, 2012, general election.

Although state and local governments have primary responsibility for administering elections, the Civil Rights Division is charged with enforcing the federal voting rights laws that protect the rights of all citizens to access the ballot on Election Day.  

In the days leading up to and throughout Election Day, Civil Rights Division staff members will be available by telephone to receive complaints related to possible violations of the federal voting rights laws (toll free 1-800-253-3931 or 202-307-2767 or TTY 1-877-267-8971).  In addition, individuals may also report such complaints by fax to 202-307-3961, by email to voting.section@usdoj.gov  and by a complaint form on the department ’s website : www.justice.gov/crt/about/vot/.     

Allegations of election fraud are handled by the 94 U.S. Attorneys’ Offices across the country and the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section.  Complaints may be directed to any of the local U.S. Attorneys’ Offices, the local FBI offices or the Public Integrity Section at 202-514-1412.

Since the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1 965, the department has regularly sent observers and monitors around the country to protect the rights of voters .  The Voting Rights Act prohibits discrimination in the election process on the basis of race, color or membership in a minority language group.  In addition, the act requires certain covered jurisdictions to provide language assistance during the election process.  Under the Voting Rights Act, the department is authorized to ask the Office of Personnel Management to send federal observers to areas that have been certified for coverage by a federal court or the attorney general.  The department also may send its own staff to monitor elections in other jurisdictions.

On Election Day, federal observers will monitor polling place activities in 17 jurisdictions:

Russell County, Ala.;
Maricopa County, Ariz.;
Alameda County, Calif.;
Riverside County, Calif.;
Randolph County , G a.;
East Carroll Parish, La.;
Panola County, Miss.;
Colfax County, Neb.;
Sandoval County, N.M.;
Orange County, N.Y.;
Cuyahoga County, Ohio;
Lorain County, Ohio;
Williamsburg County, S.C.;
Shannon County ; S.D.;
Dallas County, Texas;
Fort Bend County, Texas; and
Jefferson County, Texas.

Justice Department personnel will monitor the election in an additional 34 jurisdictions:  

Mobile County, Ala. ;
Pima County, Ariz.;
Arapahoe County, Colo.;
Denver;
Duval County, Fla.;
Hendry County , Fl a.;
Hillsborough County, Fla.;
Lee County, Fla.;
Miami-Dade County, Fla.;
Orange County, Fla.;
Osceola County, Fla.;
Chicago & Cook County, Ill.;
LaPorte County, Ind.;
Finney County, Kan.;
Detroit & Hamtramck, Mich.;
Alamance County, N.C.;
Wake County, N.C.;
Bernalillo County, N.M.;
Cibola County, N.M.;
Queens County, N.Y.;
Franklin County, Ohio;
Hamilton County, Ohio;
Allegheny County, Pa.;
Chester County, Pa.;
Delaware County, Pa.;
Lehigh County, Pa.;
Philadelphia ;
Richland County, S.C.;
Davidson County, Tenn.;
Shelby County , Tenn. ;
Harris County, Texas; and
Milwaukee
The observers and department personnel will gather information on, among other things, whether voters are subject to different voting qualifications or procedures on the basis of race, color, or membership in a language minority group; whether jurisdictions are complying with the minority language provisions of the Voting Rights Act; whether jurisdictions permit voters to receive assistance by a person of his or her choice if the voter is blind, has a disability, or is unable to read or write; whether jurisdictions allow voters with disabilit ies to cast a private and independent ballot; whether jurisdictions comply with the voter registration list requirements of the National Voter Registration Act; and whether jurisdictions comply with the provisional ballot requirements of the Help America Vote Act.  To assist in these inquiries, the department has deployed observers and monitors who speak Spanish and a variety of Asian and Native American languages.  Both the federal observers and department personnel will coordinate monitoring activities, and department attorneys maintain contact with local election officials.

Last month, the Justice Department announced efforts to ensure that all qualified voters have the opportunity to cast their ballots and have their votes counted free of discrimination, intimidation or fraud in the election process.   More information about the Voting Rights Act and other federal voting and election-related laws is available on the Civil Rights Division ’s web site at www.usdoj.gov/crt/voting .

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PRESS RELEASE from the U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Wisconsin

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 19, 2012

US Attorneys Announce Election Day Program


Madison, Wis. -- United States Attorney John W. Vaudreuil of the Western District of Wisconsin and United States Attorney James L. Santelle of the Eastern District of Wisconsin announced today that they have appointed Assistant U.S. Attorneys to lead the efforts of their respective offices in connection with the Justice Department’s nationwide Election Day Program for the upcoming November 6, 2012 elections.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Peter Jarosz has been appointed to serve as the Election Officer for the Western District of Wisconsin, which covers Madison and approximately the western two-thirds of the state. Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard Frohling has been appointed to serve as the Election Officer for the Eastern District, which covers Milwaukee and approximately the eastern one-third of the state. As Election Officers, Jarosz and Frohling are responsible for overseeing their District’s handling of complaints of election fraud and voting rights abuses in consultation with the Justice Department in Washington.

United States Attorney Vaudreuil said, “Every citizen must be able to vote without interference or discrimination and to have that vote counted without it being stolen because of fraud. The Department of Justice will act promptly and aggressively to protect the integrity of the election process.”

United States Attorney Santelle added, “The franchise is the cornerstone of American democracy. We all must ensure that those who are entitled to the franchise exercise it if they choose, and that those who seek to corrupt it are brought to justice.”

Ten years ago, the Justice Department established a nationwide Ballot Access and Voting Integrity Initiative. The goals of this ongoing Initiative are to increase the Department’s ability to deter election fraud and discrimination at the polls and to prosecute these offenses whenever and wherever they occur The Department’s 2012 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 polls are open on election day.

In order to respond to complaints of election fraud or voting rights abuses on November 6, 2012, and to ensure that such complaints are directed to the appropriate authorities, Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jarosz and Frohling will be on duty in their districts while the polls are open. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jarosz can be reached by calling (608) 658-3743. Assistant U.S. Attorney Frohling can be reached by calling (414) 297-4528.

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 FBI in Madison can be reached by calling (608) 833-4600. The FBI in Milwaukee can be reached by calling (414) 276-4684.

Complaints about ballot access problems or discrimination can be made directly to the Civil Rights Division’s Voting Section in Washington at (800) 253-3931 or (202) 307-2767.

In a joint statement, United States Attorneys Vaudreuil and Santelle explained, “The effectiveness of our Election Day Program depends in large part on the watchfulness and cooperation of the American electorate. It is imperative that anyone with specific information about discrimination or election fraud makes that information available immediately to our offices, the FBI, or the Civil Rights Division.”

PRESS RELEASE from the U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of California
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 15, 2012

U.S. Attorney Announces Election Day 2012 Program

SAN FRANCISCO – United States Attorney Melinda Haag announced today that her office will lead the Justice Department’s Election Day Program in the Northern District of California. Ms. Haag has asked her District Election Officer to oversee the handling of complaints of election fraud and voting rights abuses in consultation with Justice Department Headquarters in Washington.

“Every citizen must be able to vote without interference or discrimination and to have that vote counted without it being stolen because of fraud,” United States Attorney Haag said. “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 at the polls, 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 polls are open on election day.

Federal law protects against such crimes as intimidating or bribing voters, buying and selling votes, 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 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 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 franchise is the cornerstone of American democracy. We all must ensure that those who are entitled to the franchise 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 on Nov. 6, 2012, and to ensure that such complaints are directed to the appropriate authorities, United States Attorney Haag stated that the District Election Officer will be on duty while the polls are open and can be reached by the public at (510) 637-3680.

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 FBI San Francisco Division can be reached by the public at (415) 553-7400 and can refer matters to the resident agencies throughout the District as necessary.

Complaints about ballot access problems or discrimination can be made directly to the Civil Rights Division’s Voting Section in Washington at (800) 253-3931 or (202) 307-2767.

“Ensuring free and fair elections depends in large part on the cooperation of the American electorate,” United States Attorney Haag said. “It is imperative that those who have specific information about discrimination or election fraud make that information available immediately to my Office, the FBI, or the Civil Rights Division.”

PRESS RELEASE from U.S. Department of Justice
Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Protecting the Right to Vote and Prosecuting Ballot Fraud


In anticipation of the upcoming election, the Justice Department today provided information about its efforts, through the Civil Rights and Criminal Divisions, to ensure that all qualified voters have the opportunity to cast their ballots and have their votes counted free of discrimination, intimidation or fraud in the election process .     
           
Civil Rights Division:
 
The Civil Rights Division is responsible for ensuring compliance with the civil provisions of federal laws that protect the right to vote, and with federal criminal laws prohibiting discriminatory interference with that right.
 
The Civil Rights Division’s Voting Section enforces civil provisions of federal laws that protect the right to vote including: the Voting Rights Act; the National Voter Registration Act; the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act; and the Help America Vote Act.  Among other things, these laws prohibit discrimination based on race or membership in a minority language group; prohibit intimidation of voters; provide that voters who need assistance in voting because of disability or illiteracy can obtain assistance from a person of their choice; require minority language election materials and assistance in certain jurisdictions; provide for accessible election machines for voters with disabilities; require provisional ballots for voters who assert they are eligible but whose names do not appear on poll books; provide for absentee ballots for service members, their family members and U.S. citizens living abroad; and require states to ensure that citizens can register at drivers’ license offices, public assistance offices , other state agencies and through the mail; and include requirements regarding maintaining voter registration lists.     
 
The Civil Rights Division’s Criminal Section enforces federal criminal statutes that prohibit voter intimidation and suppression based on race, color, national origin or religion.
 
As it has in the past, on Election Day, Nov. 6, 2012, the Civil Rights Division will implement a comprehensive program to help ensure ballot access that will include the following:
Complaints related to violence or threats of violence at a polling place should, in the first instance, always be reported to local police authorities by calling 911.  
 
Criminal Division and the Department’s 94 U.S. Attorneys’ Offices:
 
The Department’s Criminal Division oversees the enforcement of federal laws that criminalize certain election fraud and vindicate the integrity of the federal election process.
 
The Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section and the Department’s 94 U.S. Attorneys’ Offices are responsible for enforcing the federal criminal laws that prohibit various forms of election fraud, such as vote buying, multiple voting, submission of fraudulent ballots or registrations, destruction of ballots or registrations, alteration of votes and malfeasance by election officials .   The Criminal Division is also responsible for enforcing federal criminal law prohibiting voter intimidation that does not involve a basis in race , color , national origin or religion (as noted above, voter intimidation that has a basis in race, color, national origin or religion is addressed by the Civil Rights Division).      
 
The department encourages each U.S. Attorney’s Office to communicate with state election officials before the federal general elections regarding the handling of election-related matters in their respective districts.  In addition, the department provides annual training for the Assistant U.S. Attorneys who serve as district election officers (DEOs) in their respective districts.  DEOs are responsible for overseeing potential election-crime matters in their districts , and for coordinating with the department’s election-crime experts in Washington, D.C.
 
On Nov. 6, 2012, the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices will work with specially trained Federal Bureau of Investigation personnel in each district to ensure that complaints from the public involving possible voter fraud are handled appropriately .   Specifically:
 
Both protecting the right to vote and combating election fraud are essential to maintaining the confidence of all Americans in our democratic system of government.   We encourage anyone who has information suggesting voting discrimination or ballot fraud to contact the appropriate authorities.

WASHINGTON, June 5, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Former Presidential Candidate Gary Bauer congratulated Governor Scott Walker for his win in Wisconsin's recall election, calling it "another sign that taxpayers will award office holders ready to do the hard work of reigning in out-of-control government spending."

Bauer, the chairman of the Campaign for Working Families,  made the following statement:

"I congratulate Governor Scott Walker for his hard-fought victory tonight, and most especially for having the courage of his convictions to fight the good fight. But the victory in Wisconsin is not Scott Walker's alone.  It is a victory for the hard-working taxpayers of Wisconsin, who foot the bill year after year.  It is a victory for common sense over powerful special interests.  It is a victory that taxpayers in every state can celebrate.  It is a victory, yes, even for some union members.

"Since Gov. Walker's reforms were enacted, tens of thousands of state employees have opted to keep more of the money they earn rather than let the public employees union siphon off their hard-earned dollars.  In other words, once given the choice, more than half of the public employees union's members decided that they didn't need the union.  These reforms will pay real dividends for the taxpayers of Wisconsin.  They are the real winners tonight.

"The recall election is a sign of good things to come.  The power of the Big Labor bosses has finally been checked, not just in Wisconsin, but also in scores of other states across the country.  More governors, legislators and taxpayers will be inspired to stand up against the liberal labor unions and do what is truly in the best interests of their communities.  Wisconsin's 10 Electoral College votes are now in play, and the anti-tax, small government movement that swept the country in 2010 is about to sweep Barack Obama out of office in 154 days!"

Source: PR Newswire (http://s.tt/1drYR)