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U.S. Attorney’s Office to keep watch on polls during Election Day


The U.S. attorney for the Southern District has appointed a representative to conduct Election Day anti-fraud efforts in Southwestern Illinois.

United States Attorney Donald S. Boyce says Assistant U.S. Attorney Norman R. Smith, will lead the efforts of his office in connection with the Justice Department’s nationwide Election Day Program for the Nov. 8 general election. Smith will serve as the district election officer.

“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,” Boyce said.

The department’s longstanding Election Day Program 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, 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, 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.

Smith can be reached by the public at (618) 628-3700, (618) 628-3743 or (618) 799-8775. 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 at (618) 397-4401.

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 or by complaint form at .

— From the Illinois Business JournalU.S

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