U.S. Attorney's Office
Western District of Michigan
(616) 456-2404
October 31, 2014

U.S. Attorney’s Office Names Election Officer and is Available to Accept Election Day Calls Concerning Election

GRAND RAPIDS, MI—U.S. Attorney Patrick Miles announced today that his office will accept calls during and after regular hours on November 4 concerning alleged election fraud or interference with the exercise of the right to vote. Miles appointed veteran federal prosecutor Don Daniels as Election Officer for the 49 counties in the Western District of Michigan. “Fair elections are critical. 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 U.S. Department of Justice will act promptly and aggressively to protect the integrity of the election process,” said U.S. Attorney Miles.

In order to respond to complaints of election fraud or voting rights abuses on election day, and to ensure that such complaints are directed to the appropriate authorities, U.S. Attorney Miles stated that the public can reach Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniels or an attorney in his office by dialing (616) 808-2014. Daniels joined the U.S. Attorney’s Office in 1980 and has served as the Office’s Executive Counsel for the past 15 years. He leads the Office’s Criminal Civil Rights Violations Task Force which Miles established in 2012.

In addition to the U.S. Attorney’s Office Election Officer, the FBI will have special agents available throughout the country to receive allegations of election fraud and other election abuses on election day. The local FBI offices can be reached at (616) 456-5489 (Grand Rapids), (517) 336-8367 (East Lansing), and (906)-226-2058 (Marquette).

Complaints about possible violations of the federal voting rights laws can be made directly to the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division’s Voting Section in Washington by phone at 1-800-253-3931 or (202) 307-2767, by fax at (202) 307-3961, by e-mail to voting.section@usdoj.gov or by online complaint form at: http://www.justice.gov/crt/complaint/votintake/index.php.

The U.S. Department of Justice has an important role in deterring election fraud and discrimination at the polls, and combating these violations whenever and wherever they occur. 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 provides that voters can cast their ballot 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 law. Further, federal law protects the right of voters to mark their own ballot or to be assisted by a person of their choice.

U.S. Attorney Miles added, “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 U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division.”

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