CONCORD, N.H. –United States Attorney Scott W. Murray announced the establishment of an Election Day hotline in coordination with the U.S. Justice Department’s nationwide Election Day program for the general election on November 3, 2020. The hotline number is (603) 230-2503.
United States Attorney Murray has appointed Assistant United States Attorney Seth R. Aframe to serve as the District Election Officer for the District of New Hampshire. In that capacity, AUSA Aframe is responsible for overseeing the District’s handling of complaints of election fraud and voting rights abuses in consultation with Justice Department Headquarters in Washington. He is also responsible for monitoring the Election Day hotline while the polls are open. He can be reached by calling (603) 230-2503.
“Every citizen must be able to vote without interference or discrimination and to have that vote counted fairly,” U.S. Attorney Murray said. “The Department of Justice will always protect the integrity of the election process.”
The Department of Justice has an important role in deterring election fraud and discrimination at the polls, and combating these violations whenever and wherever they occur. The Department’s long-standing Election Day Program furthers these goals. It also seeks to ensure public confidence in the integrity of the election process by providing local points of contact within the Department for the public to report possible election fraud and voting rights violations while the polls are open on Election Day.
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 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.
“The voting franchise is the cornerstone of American democracy,” U.S. Attorney Murray said. “Ensuring free and fair elections depends in large part on the cooperation of the American electorate. It is imperative that those who have specific information about discrimination or election fraud make that information available immediately to my Office, the FBI, or the Civil Rights Division.”
In addition to the hotline, 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 FBI in New Hampshire can be reached by the public at (603) 472-2224.
Complaints about possible violations of the federal voting rights laws also can be made directly to the Civil Rights Division’s in Washington, DC by phone at 1-800-253-3931 or by using the complaint form at https://civilrights.justice.gov/.
Please note, however, in the case of a crime of violence or intimidation, citizens should call 911 immediately and before contacting federal authorities. State and local police have primary jurisdiction over polling places, and almost always have faster reaction capacity in an emergency.
A Federal Election Fact Sheet that explains what triggers federal criminal jurisdiction in connection with elections and voting rights is posted on the United States Attorney’s website: www.justice.gov/usao-nh.