How to report suspected fraud, discrimination this Election Day

News

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — While the Department of Justice and local U.S. Attorney’s office are taking steps to deter election fraud and discrimination at the polls this Election Day, they’re also making it easier for voters to report any suspected misconduct.

The office of U.S. Attorney Stephen Dambruch announced Thursday that it’s been working with the FBI to establish hotlines for reporting alleged election fraud or abuses of voting rights.

The FBI will have special agents posted at field offices around the country to handle these reports, according to Dambruch’s office. The local FBI field office can be reached at (401) 272-8310.

“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,” Dambruch’s office wrote in a news release. “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 (where voters need assistance because of disability or illiteracy).”

In addition, Dambruch’s office said assistant U.S. Attorney Terrence Donnelly has been appointed to serve as Rhode Island’s district election officer. He’ll oversee the state’s handling of election fraud and discrimination cases in conjunction with the Department of Justice.

AUSA Donnelly can be contacted at (401) 709-5068.

Complaints can also be made directly to the Civil Rights Division’s Voting Section in Washington, D.C. by calling 1-800-253-3931 or (202) 307-2767, by fax at (202) 307-3961, by email to voting.section@usdoj.gov or by submitting a complaint form here

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