Federal Prosecutors to Serve as District Election Officers for Seven California Counties During November 3 General Election Period

LOS ANGELES – United States Attorney Nicola T. Hanna announced today that Assistant United States Attorneys Lindsey Greer Dotson and Thomas F. Rybarczyk will serve as District Election Officers for the Central District of California during this year’s general election period, which culminates on Election Day on November 3.

As the District Election Officers, AUSAs Dotson and Rybarczyk will oversee the handling of complaints related to election fraud and voting rights concerns occurring in the counties of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo. If complaints are received, the AUSAs will coordinate with the FBI Field Office in Los Angeles to investigate them and will consult with the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C.

The Justice Department has an important role in deterring interference or discrimination at the polls and election fraud, 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 voting rights violations and election fraud while the polls are open through Election Day.

Federal law prohibits crimes such 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 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.

The FBI will have special agents available across the country to receive allegations of election fraud and other election abuses on Election Day. Agents at the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office, which serves the same seven counties as the United States Attorney’s Office, can be reached by the public at (310) 477-6565.

In order to respond to complaints of election fraud or voting rights concerns up to and including November 3, and to ensure that such complaints are directed to the appropriate authorities, AUSAs Dotson and Rybarczyk will be on duty while the polls are open.

Complaints about possible violations of the federal voting rights laws can also be made directly to the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division in Washington, D.C., by phone at (800) 253-3931 or TTY (202) 305-0082. Individuals may also report complaints by email to voting.section@usdoj.gov and by a complaint form on the Justice Department’s website: www.justice.gov/crt/votercomplaint.

Please note, however, in the case of a crime of violence or intimidation, please call 911 immediately and before contacting federal authorities. State and local police have primary jurisdiction over polling places, and almost always have faster reaction capacity in an emergency. These complaints should also be reported to the Justice Department after local authorities have been contacted.

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