Two Assistant U.S. Attorneys have been named to lead the efforts in the Southern District of Georgia in connection with the U.S. Department of Justice’s nationwide 2022 Election Day Program.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Channell V. Singh and Jeremiah L. Johnson have been appointed to serve as the District Election Officers (DEOs) for the Southern District of Georgia, said David H. Estes, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia. In that capacity, they are responsible for overseeing the District’s handling of election day complaints of voting rights concerns, threats of violence to election officials or staff, and reports of election fraud, 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 in a fair and free election,” U.S. Attorney Estes said. “Similarly, election officials and staff must be able to serve without being subject to unlawful threats of violence. Our office will work tirelessly to protect the integrity of the election process.”
The Department of Justice has an important role in deterring and combatting discrimination and intimidation at the polls, threats of violence directed at election officials and poll workers, and election fraud. The Department will address these violations wherever they occur. The Department’s longstanding Election Day Program furthers these goals and seeks to ensure public confidence in the electoral process by providing local points of contact within the Department for the public to report possible federal election law violations.
Federal law protects against such crimes as threatening violence against election officials or staff, 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. It also contains special protections for the rights of voters, and provides that they can vote free from interference, including intimidation, and other acts designed to prevent or discourage people from voting or voting for the candidate of their choice. The Voting Rights Act 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 inability to read or write in English.
In order 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 District Election Officers will be on duty in the Southern District of Georgia while the polls are open and can be reached at 912-652-4422.
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 770-216-3000.
Complaints about possible violations of the federal voting rights laws can be made directly to the Civil Rights Division in Washington, D.C. by phone at 800-253-3931 or by complaint form at https://civilrights.justice.gov/.
In the event of a crime of violence or intimidation, please 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.