BEAUMONT – US attorney Stephen J. Cox recently announced that US Assistant Attorneys (AUSAs) have been appointed to lead his office's efforts in relation to the Justice Department's nationwide election day program for the upcoming November 3rd general election.
AUSA Michelle Englade has been named District Election Officer (DEO) for the Eastern District of Texas and in that capacity is responsible for overseeing the handling of complaints of election fraud and voting violations by the district in consultation with the Texas Department of Justice headquarters in Washington.
While AUSA Englade will operate from the U.S. Attorney's Office in Beaumont, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Texas (EDTX) has also appointed AUSA Allen Hurst to oversee electoral integrity issues in other areas of the district's service in Tyler, AUSA Andrew Stover in Plano and AUSA Will Tatum in Sherman.
Working with the FBI and state and local partners, these AUSAs will be jointly responsible for overseeing the handling of complaints of electoral fraud and violations of voting rights by the district in consultation with Justice Department Headquarters in Washington.
US attorney Stephen Cox said: “Every citizen's right to vote is a cherished mark of what it means to be an American. Whether it is fraudulently obtaining dozens of illegal ballot papers, as was recently claimed in the northern part of our district, or intimidating citizens who intend to vote, EDTX will act quickly in coordination with our law enforcement partners to ensure the protection of the fairness and integrity of the democratic process. "
The Department of Justice plays an important role in preventing electoral fraud and discrimination in elections and combating these violations whenever and wherever they occur. The ministry's longstanding election day program supports these goals and also seeks to ensure public confidence in the integrity of the electoral process by providing local contacts within the ministry for the public to report possible election fraud and voting rights violations during elections are on election day open.
Federal law protects against crimes such as intimidating or bribing voters, buying and selling votes, impersonating voters, changing numbers of votes, filling out ballot boxes, and marking ballot papers for voters against their will or without their input. It also provides special protection for the rights of voters, allowing them to vote freely from any acts that intimidate or harass them.
For example, acts of individuals designed to interrupt or intimidate voters at polling stations by questioning or challenging them, photographing them or videotaping them, on the pretext that they are acts to detect illegal voting, may violate federal electoral law violated.
In addition, federal law protects voters' right to mark their own ballot paper or to be assisted by someone of their choice (if voters need assistance due to disability or illiteracy).
The franchise is the cornerstone of American democracy. We all need to ensure that those who are entitled to the franchise exercise it if they so choose and that those who try to corrupt it are brought to justice. In order to respond to complaints of electoral fraud or voting rights abuse on November 3, 2020 and to ensure that such complaints are directed to the relevant authorities, citizens can contact reports of fraud or intimidation directly.
AUSA Englade can be reached by the public in Beaumont at (409) 839-2538, AUSA Hurst in Tyler, Texas at (903) 590-1400, AUSA Stover in Plano, Texas at (972). 509-1201 and AUSA Tatum can be reached in Sherman at (903) 868-9454.
In addition, the FBI will have dedicated agents at every field office and local agency across the country to deal with allegations of election fraud and other election abuse on election day. The FBI can be reached by the public in the Eastern District of Texas at:
- Beaumont – (409) 832-8571
- Frisco – (214) 705-7000
- Lufkin – (936) 637-3834
- Sherman – (903) 892-8754
- Texarkana – (870) 773-3382
- Tyler – (903) 592-4301
Complaints about possible violations of federal voting laws can be submitted directly to the Civil Rights Division in Washington, DC, by calling 800-253-3931, or using the complaint form at https://civilrights.justice.gov/.
US attorney Cox said: “Public cooperation is important to ensure an open and fair election. If citizens have specific information about electoral fraud, discrimination or intimidation of voters, we urge them to immediately provide that information to my office, the FBI, or the Civil Rights Department. "