Election officer appointed for West Michigan

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United States Attorney Andrew Birge appointed First Assistant United States Attorney Donald Daniels to serve as the district election officer for the Western District of Michigan.

Daniels will be tasked with overseeing the district’s handling of complaints for election fraud and voting rights concerns about the Nov. 3 general election, in consultation with justice department headquarters in Washington, D.C.

“Every citizen must be able to vote without interference or discrimination and to have that vote counted without it being stolen because of fraud,” Birge said. “The Department of Justice will always act appropriately to protect the integrity of the election process.”  

Federal law protects against crimes such 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. 

The law prohibits individuals from interrupting or intimidating voters at polling places by questioning or challenging them, or by photographing or videotaping them. 

Voters have the right to be assisted by a person of their choice if they need assistance because of disability or illiteracy.

Daniels will be on duty in this district while the polls are open. He can be reached at (616) 808-2014. FBI agents also will be at their local field office to receive calls for 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 possible violations of the federal voting rights laws can also be made directly to the Civil Rights Division in Washington, D.C. by phone at (800) 253-3931 or by a complaint form at civilrights.justice.gov.  

Voters must first call 911 if there is a case of a crime of violence or intimidation. State and local police have primary jurisdiction over polling places.

“Ensuring free and fair elections depends in large part on the cooperation of the American electorate,” Birge said. “It is imperative that those who have specific information about discrimination or election fraud make that information available to my office, the FBI or the Civil Rights Division.”  

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