Election Day hotline established to report suspected voter fraud, abuse
CONCORD — U.S. Attorney John P. Kacavas announced the establishment of an Election Day hotline for the public to call to report election fraud and voting rights abuses on Tuesday.
The number, which will be monitored by Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Zuckerman, who Kacavas appointed as district election officer, is 603-230-2503.
"The freedom to vote without interference, discrimination, or hindrance is one of the most fundamental civil rights enjoyed by U.S. citizens," said Kacavas. "However, the integrity of the election process depends on the vigilance of all who participate. Information about discrimination or election fraud should be reported immediately to my office, the FBI or the Civil Rights Division. The Department of Justice and the U.S. Attorney's Office will act promptly and aggressively to ensure that those who seek to undermine the integrity of the election process are brought to justice."
Zuckerman is responsible for overseeing the handling of complaints of election fraud and voting rights abuses in consultation with the U.S. Justice Department 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 people 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.
Additionally, the FBI will have special agents available in each field office and resident agencies throughout the country to receive allegations of election fraud and other election abuses on election day. The FBI can be reached by the public at 603-472-2224.
In a news release, Kacavas said the right to vote is the cornerstone of American democracy and that everyone must ensure that those who are eligible and choose to vote are allowed to exercise that right, and that those who seek to corrupt it are brought to justice.
Complaints about ballot access problems or discrimination can be made directly to the Civil Rights Division's voting section in Washington at 1-800-253-3931 or 202-307-2767.
A federal election fraud fact sheet that explains what triggers federal criminal jurisdiction in connection with elections and voting rights is posted on the U.S. Attorney's website at www.usdoj.gov/usao/nh .