U.S. Attorney’s Office responsible for handling election fraud complaints, voting rights concerns

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FILE – In this July 29, 2020, file photo, Lisa Finander, right, checks that each ballot has the voter’s name on the ballot and mailing envelope and Laurie Mattila, left, checked that it was correct at Minneapolis Elections & Voter Services in Minneapolis. A federal judge has upheld a state court agreement that extends Minnesota’s deadline for counting absentee ballots by seven days. Republicans had asked U.S. District Judge Nancy Brasel to block the seven-day extension that Democratic Secretary of State Steve Simon agreed to in state court after a citizens’ rights group cited concerns about voter safety due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But Brasel ruled late Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020, that the plaintiffs in the case — a pair of Republicans serving as electors in the presidential election — don’t have standing and denied their motion for a preliminary injunction.(Glen Stubbe/Star Tribune via AP, File)

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma says the U.S. Attorney’s Office is responsible for handling election fraud complaints and voting rights concerns for the Nov. 3 general election.

U.S. Attorney Timothy J. Downing highlighted the Justice Department’s nationwide Election Day Program for the upcoming election.

“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 always act appropriately to protect the integrity of the election process,” Downing said. “The Department’s nationwide effort is important to give our nation peace of mind and confidence in each district. It is also a great reminder to be thankful as Oklahomans that we have a safe and secure election process in our state.”

The Department of Justice plays an important role in deterring election fraud and discrimination at the polls, as well as combating such violations when and where they occur, according to a news release issued by Downing’s office.

The Election Day Program furthers those goals.

Federal law protects citizens against election crimes, including 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,” the news release states. “Further, federal law protects the right of voters to mark their own ballot or to be assisted by a person of their choice (where voters need assistance because of disability or illiteracy).”

The FBI will place special agents in each field office and resident agency throughout the nation to receive allegations of election fraud and other election abuses on election day. The public can contact the FBI’s Oklahoma City Field Office by calling (405) 290-7770.

Federal voting rights violations can also be reported directly to the Civil Rights Division in Washington, D.C. by phone at (800) 253-3931 or by complaint form at https://civilrights.justice.gov/.

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

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