EYEWITNESS NEWS (WBRE/WYOU) — The United State Attorney’s Office announced Thursday that they will oversee the Justice Department’s new, nationwide Election Day Program, for the general election on November 8.
According to a press release, Criminal Division Chief Bruce D. Bandler has been appointed to oversee the District Election Day Program. Assistant United States Attorneys (AUSA) Michael Consiglio, Geoffrey MacArthur, and James Buchanan will serve as District Election Officers (DEO) for the Middle District of Pennsylvania in the Harrisburg, Scranton, and Williamsport offices.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office says they will be responsible for overseeing the handling of election-day complaints of voting rights concerns, threats of violence toward election officials or staff, and election fraud, all while consulting with the Justice Department Headquarters in Washington.
“Every citizen must be able to vote without interference or discrimination and to have
that vote counted in a fair and free election. Similarly, election officials and staff must be able to serve without being subject to unlawful threats of violence. The Department of Justice will always work tirelessly to protect the integrity of the election process,” said, U.S. Attorney Karam.
Officials say, the Department of Justice (DOJ) has an important role in deterring and combatting discrimination and intimidation during the election. They handle threats of violence directed at election officials and poll workers, and election fraud.
As the press release reads, the DOJ will address these violations wherever they occur. The Department’s longstanding Election Day Program furthers these goals and also looks to ensure the public’s confidence in the electoral process by providing local points of contact within the Department for the public to report possible federal election law violations.
“The right to vote is the cornerstone of American Democracy. We all must ensure that those who are entitled to the franchise can exercise it if they choose and that those who seek to corrupt it are brought to justice. Fair elections depend in large part on the assistance of the American Electorate. It is important that those who have specific information about voting rights concerns or election fraud make that information available to the Department of Justice,” added U.S. Attorney Karam.
To respond to complaints of voting rights concerns and election fraud during the upcoming election, and to ensure that such complaints are directed to the appropriate authorities, the DEOs will be on duty in this district while the polls are open.
AUSA/DEO Consiglio can be reached at the Harrisburg office at 717-221-4482, AUSA/DEO Buchanan can be reached at the Scranton Office at 570-348-2800, and AUSA/DEO MacArthur can be reached at the Williamsport Office at 570-326-1935.
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 by the public at 215-418-4000.
Complaints about possible violations of federal voting rights can be made to the Civil Rights Division in Washington, D.C. at 800-253-3931 or by filling out a complaint form online.
Also, if there is any form of violence, officials urge voters to call 911, as local police departments will have a much faster response time then the DOJ election officials.