US Attorneys Available to Receive Election Complaints – US Elections

MICHAEL J. GARCIA and BENTON J. CAMPBELL, the United
States Attorneys for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New
York, respectively, announced today that special telephone
numbers have been set up to receive complaints of possible
violations of federal election laws relating to the upcoming
general elections in New York City and other counties in their
districts.

The United States Attorneys said that their Offices
will be available to receive complaints at the following numbers
on Tuesday, September 9, 2008:
(212) 637-0840 (for Manhattan, Bronx, Dutchess, Orange,
Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan and Westchester
counties) and
(718) 254-7000 (for Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, Nassau
and Suffolk counties)
In addition, complaints of possible violations of
federal election laws may be made directly to the Federal Bureau
of Investigation at (212) 384-1000.

A spokesperson for the United States Attorneys said
that the enforcement of federal laws protecting the rights of all
eligible persons to vote for the candidates of their choice is a
high priority of the Department of Justice.

It is unlawful under federal law to deny or abridge
anyone’s right to vote because of race, color or national origin.
Federal laws also require local election authorities to make
voting accessible to disabled and elderly voters. Voters who
require assistance because of blindness, disability or inability
to read and write have the right to receive such assistance from
a person of their own choosing. In counties with substantial
numbers of non-English speaking voters, federal laws prohibit the
denial or abridgement of a voter’s ability to participate in the
election process in certain languages other than English (i.e.,
Spanish, Chinese, Korean).

In addition, certain activities designed to subvert the
integrity of the election process are federal crimes. It is a
federal crime, for example, to deprive citizens of their right to
fair elections or to conspire to do so. Specific election laws
also make it a crime to bribe or intimidate voters, to cause
ballots to be cast fraudulently in the names of individuals who
did not vote (“ballot stuffing”), to vote more than once, or to
alter or falsely report the vote count. It can also be a federal
offense to challenge qualified voters without cause and in bad
faith or to harass persons seeking to vote for the purpose of
discouraging their vote.

The spokesperson said that the ability of federal law
enforcement authorities to detect and eliminate improper
restrictions on voting rights and to prosecute election fraud
depends to a large extent on the watchfulness and cooperation of
the voters. It is therefore imperative that those who have been
asked to participate in illegal election practices, who have been
the subject of such practices, who have observed such practices,
or who have information bearing on such practices, make that
information known promptly to the FBI or the United States
Attorneys at the telephone numbers listed above.

The United States Attorneys also noted that the
following additional telephone numbers are available on election
day for citizens to call for routine inquiries, such as where to
vote or how late the polls are open, or to register complaints
that may concern violations of New York State election laws:

IN NEW YORK CITY
City Board of Elections
Main Office (212) 487-5300
Bronx (718) 299-9017
Brooklyn (718) 797-8800
Manhattan (212) 886-2100
Queens (718) 730-6730
Staten Island (718) 876-0079
IN COUNTIES OUTSIDE NEW YORK CITY
County Boards of Elections
Dutchess (845) 486-2473
Nassau (516) 571-2411
Orange (845) 291-2444
Putnam (845) 278-6970
Rockland (845) 638-5172
Suffolk (631) 852-4500
Sullivan (845) 794-3000
Westchester (914) 995-5700
Assistant United States Attorney DAVID J. KENNEDY is
responsible for overseeing the handling of complaints of voting
rights abuses and election fraud for the Southern District of New
York.
Assistant United States Attorney MICHAEL J. GOLDBERGER
is responsible for overseeing the handling of complaints of
voting rights abuses and election fraud for the Eastern District
of New York.
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