U.S. Attorney Appoints District Election Officer to Oversee Voting Activity on November 6
|U.S. Attorney’s Office October 18, 2012|
United States Attorney Brendan V. Johnson announced that First Assistant United States Attorney Randolph J. Seiler will lead the enforcement efforts in the District of South Dakota for the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) nationwide Election Day Program on Tuesday, November 6, 2012. Seiler has been appointed to serve as the District Election Officer for South Dakota. In that capacity, he is responsible for overseeing the District’s handling of complaints of election fraud and voting rights abuses in consultation with DOJ Headquarters in Washington.
“Every citizen must be able to vote without interference or discrimination and to have every confidence their vote will be counted. The DOJ will act promptly and aggressively to protect the integrity of the election process in our state,” said Johnson.
The DOJ has an important role in deterring election fraud and discrimination at the polls 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 for the public to report possible election fraud and voting rights violations.
Federal law protects against such crimes as intimidating or bribing voters, buying and selling votes, 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. Further, federal law protects the right of voters to mark their own ballot or to be assisted by a person of their choice.
In order to respond to complaints of election fraud or voting rights abuses on November 6, and to ensure that such complaints are directed to the appropriate authorities, Seiler can be contacted on election day at the following numbers: 605-224-5402 (office) or 605-222-8877 (cell).
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. The local FBI field offices can be reached by the public at the following numbers: Sioux Falls—605-334-6881; Rapid City—605-343-9632; and Pierre—605-224-1331.
Complaints about ballot access problems or discrimination can also be made directly to the Civil Rights Division’s Voting Section in Washington at 1-800-253-3931 or 202-307-2767.
Johnson encourages voters to demonstrate awareness on election day. “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 immediately to my office, the FBI, or the Civil Rights Division.”