Local and federal officials are rolling out plans to crack down on voter intimidation and ballot fraud in the Nov. 8 midterm election.
Their commitments to deterring election fraud and discrimination at the polls come with the nation’s voters highly polarized and Democratic Party control of the House and Senate at stake.
“We ask any citizen who witnesses an act of voter intimidation or voter fraud to immediately contact the department at (559) 600-8683 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org so that the department can take action to protect the election process,” said Fresno County Clerk/Registrar of Voters James Kus in a news release Friday.
Investigating claims of voter fraud or intimidation is the responsibility of Sheriff Margaret Mims’ office. Fresno County District Attorney Lisa Smittcamp would then decide if there is sufficient evidence to prosecute.
“The Fresno County Sheriff’s Office takes all allegations of election and voter fraud seriously,” Mims said. “We encourage the public to report any suspicious activity so the claims can be thoroughly investigated.”
Said Smittcamp: “When the facts and circumstances warrant charges, our office remains committed to holding those accountable to the fullest extent of the law” for voter intimidation and ballot fraud.
Feds Want Your Tips on Fraud, Intimidation
U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced Thursday that he appointed Assistant U.S. Attorney Kevin Khasigian as the District Election Officer for the Eastern District of California, which includes Fresno.
Khasigian will be on duty while the polls are open. He can be reached by the public at: (916) 554-2700 and (916) 554-2723.
In addition, Assistant U.S. Attorney Angela Scott will serve as the National Security Cyber Specialist tasked with preparing for and responding to digital election threats.
“Every citizen must be able to vote without interference or discrimination and to have that vote counted,” said Talbert.
The FBI will have special agents available to receive allegations of illegal election activity on Election Day. The FBI can be reached by the public at (916) 746-7000 or at tips.fbi.gov.
Individuals with complaints related to possible violations of federal voting rights laws can call the Justice Department’s toll-free telephone line at (800) 253-3931. Complaints also can be submitted at https://civilrights.justice.gov/.