Reporting Election Day Violations - Nov. 4 - - Jackson, MS

Jackson, MS 10/30/08

Reporting Election Day Violations - Nov. 4

JACKSON, MS -  United States Attorney Dunn Lampton announced Thursday that Don Burkhalter, Executive Assistant United States Attorney ("EAUSA") for the Southern District of Mississippi, will lead the efforts of his Office in connection with the Justice Department's nationwide Election Day Program for the upcoming November 4, 2008 general elections. EAUSA Burkhalter has been appointed to serve as the the District Election Officer for the Southern District of Mississippi, and in that capacity is responsible for overseeing the District's handling of complaints of election fraud and voting rights abuses in consultation with Justice Department Headquarters.

On October 8, 2002, Attorney General Ashcroft established a Department-wide Ballot Access and Voting Integrity Initiative. The goals of this Initiative are to increase the Department's ability to deter voter intimidation, suppression, discrimination and election fraud, and to prosecute these offenses whenever and wherever they occur - to make voting easier and cheating harder. Both goals are equally important. It is imperative that in pursuing voter integrity, ballot access is not in any way diminished or harmed. The Department's long-standing Election Day Program furthers the goals of the Initiative. The Program also is intended to ensure public confidence in the integrity of the election process by providing local points of contact within the Department where the public can report election fraud and voting rights violations while the polls are open on election day. The franchise is the cornerstone of American democracy. We all must ensure that those entitled to the franchise exercise i t, while those who seek to corrupt it are brought to justice.

In order to respond to complaints of election fraud or voting rights abuses on November 4, 2008, and to ensure that such complaints are directed to the appropriate authorities, USA Lampton stated that Burkhalter and Assistant U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst will be on duty in this District while the polls are open. They can be reached by the public at the following telephone numbers: (601) 965-4480, (601) 973-2831, (601) 973-2888 or (601) 573-1902.

The FBI will also have Special Agents available in each field office and resident agency in this District to receive all allegations of election fraud, intimidation, suppression and other election abuses. The FBI can be reached by the public at (601) 948-5000.

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. Where voter intimidation or suppression tactics target voters on the basis of race, color, religion, or national origin, please contact the Civil Rights Division's Criminal Section at 202-514-3204.

United States Attorney Lampton said, "Election fraud and voting rights abuses dilute the worth of votes honestly cast. They also corrput the essence of our representative form of government. As crimes against both the individual and the government, they will be dealth with promptly and aggressively. Anyone who has information suggesting electoral corruption or voting rights abuses should make that information available to my Office, the FBI, or the Civil Rights Division."

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