DENVER (LAWFUEL) – United States Attorney Troy Eid announced today that Assistant United States Attorney Thomas O’Rourke is his office’s contact person for the Department of Justice’s nationwide Election Day Program for the November 4, 2008 general election. O’Rourke was selected for this position before early voting began. As the District Election Officer for the District of Colorado, O’Rourke is responsible for overseeing the District’s handling of complaints of election fraud and voting rights abuses, in consultation with Justice Department Headquarters.
On October 8, 2002, then Attorney General John Ashcroft established a Department-wide Ballot Access and Voting Integrity Initiative. The goals of this Initiative are to increase the Department’s ability to deter voter intimidation, suppression, discrimination and election fraud and to prosecute these offenses whenever and wherever they occur – to make voting easier and cheating harder. Both goals are equally important. It is imperative that in pursuing voter integrity, ballot access is not in any way diminished or harmed. The Department’s long-standing Election Day Program furthers the goals of the Initiative.
The Program also is intended to ensure public confidence in the integrity of the election process by providing local points of contact within the Department where the public can report possible election fraud and voting rights violations while the polls are open on election day. The franchise is the cornerstone of American democracy. We all must ensure that those who are entitled to the franchise exercise it, while those who seek to corrupt it are brought to justice.
In order to respond to complaints of election fraud or voting rights abuses on November 4, 2008, and to ensure that such complaints are directed to the appropriate authorities, U.S. Attorney Eid stated that O’Rourke will be on duty in this District while the polls are open. He can be reached by the public by calling 303-454-0209.
The FBI will also have Special Agents available in each field office and resident agency in this District to receive allegations of election fraud, intimidation, suppression and other election abuses. The FBI can be reached by the public at 303-629-7171.
Complaints about ballot access problems or discrimination can be made directly to the Civil Rights Division’s Voting Section in Washington at 1-800-253-3931 or 202-307-2767. Where voter intimidation or suppression tactics target voters on the basis of race, color, religion, or national origin, please contact the Civil Rights Division’s Criminal Section at 202-514-3204.
“We always take these allegations very seriously and will act accordingly,” said United States Attorney Troy Eid.