U.S. Attorney's Office
Eastern District of Michigan
(313) 226-9100
October 30, 2014

Prosecutor Appointed as District Election Officer

United States Attorney Barbara L. McQuade announced today that Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA) Dawn N. Ison will lead the efforts of her Office in connection with monitoring local elections in Detroit and Hamtramck. AUSA Ison has been appointed to serve as the District Election Officer (DEO) for the Eastern District of Michigan, and in that capacity is responsible for overseeing the District’s handling of complaints of election fraud and voting rights abuses in consultation with Justice Department Headquarters in Washington.

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. 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.

In order to respond to complaints of election fraud or voting rights abuses on November 4, 2014, and to ensure that such complaints are directed to the appropriate authorities, United States Attorney McQuade stated that AUSA/DEO Ison will be on duty in this District while the polls are open. She can be reached by the public at the following telephone number: 313-226-9567.

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 (313) 965-2323.

Complaints about ballot access problems or discrimination can also be made directly to the Civil Rights Division’s Voting Section in Washington by phone at 1-800-253-3931, or (202) 307-2767, by fax at (202) 307-395, by e-mail to voting.section@usdoj.gov.

United States Attorney McQuade said, “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.”

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