U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia Ryan K. Buchanan announced Wednesday that Assistant U.S. Attorney (AUSA) Brent Gray will serve as District Election Officer in charge of complaints “in connection with the Justice Department’s nationwide Election Day Program for the upcoming November 8, 2022, general election.”

Gray, who will consult with the Justice Department in Washington, will be responsible for how the district handles any complaints about possible voting rights violations, election fraud, or threats to election officials or staff.

“Every citizen must be able to vote without interference or discrimination and to have that vote counted in a fair and free election,” Buchanan said. “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.”

DOJ runs a nationwide Election Day Program to fight voter intimidation, threats of violence against election officials and poll workers, and election fraud.

Buchanan added, “Ensuring free and fair elections depends 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.”

Federal law prohibits:

  • threatening violence against election officials or staff
  • intimidating or bribing voters
  • buying and selling votes
  • impersonating voters
  • altering vote tallies
  • stuffing ballot boxes
  • marking ballots for voters against their wishes or without their input

“The franchise is the cornerstone of American democracy,” Buchanan said. “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.”

The federal Voting Rights Act protects voters’ right to mark their own ballot or—if they don’t speak English or have a disability—to be assisted by a person of their choice, Buchanan notes.

Federal law also protects voters’ right to vote without interference or intimidation, and from “other acts designed to prevent or discourage people from voting or voting for the candidate of their choice.” 

While the polls are open, Gray can be reached at (404) 581-6001 in case of any voting rights or election fraud complaints. The Federal Bureau of Investigation also will have special agents on duty nationwide to receive allegations of voter fraud or other election abuses. You can reach the FBI with such issues at (770) 216-3000.

For complaints about possible violations of federal voting rights laws, contact the Civil Rights Division in Washington, DC directly. You can call (800) 253-3931 or fill out the online complaint form at https://civilrights.justice.gov/.

In the case of a crime of violence or intimidation, call 911 immediately before you call federal authorities. That’s because state and local police can get there sooner and have primary jurisdiction over polling places.

For more information, you can contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs Office at USAGAN.PressEmails@usdoj.gov or call (404) 581-6016. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia’s website is http://www.justice.gov/usao-ndga.

Robin Kemp is executive editor and CEO of The Clayton Crescent, which she founded in 2020. She has worked for Gambit, CNN, The Weather Channel, Clayton News, Henry Herald, and numerous freelance outlets....

Leave a comment