U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced today that the public can call the Office’s Election Day Hotline at 888-636-6596 to report voting rights concerns, threats against election officials, or any other activity that would interfere with the right to vote in the District of New Jersey. This number will be active Oct. 29, 2022, through Nov. 11, 2022, and will be staffed live on Election Day, Nov. 8, 2022.
The Department of Justice plays 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.
“Free and fair elections are the cornerstone of our democracy,” U.S. States Attorney Sellinger said. “Citizens must be free to vote without interference or discrimination, and election officials must be free to serve without threats of violence. In coordination with the Department’s Election Day Program, our office will do everything in its power to protect the rights of voters and election workers throughout New Jersey.”
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 addition to the Election Day 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 can be reached by the public at 973-792-3000. Complaints about possible violations of the federal voting rights laws, or any civil rights violation, can be made at any time to the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Civil Rights Hotline, 855-281-3339, or by submitting an online complaint here, or 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 case 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.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Susan Millenky, Sara Aliabadi, and Mark McCarren will lead the efforts of his Office in connection with the Justice Department’s nationwide Election Day Program for the upcoming general election.