CLEVELAND, OH—For many years, the FBI has served as the first company answerable for investigating allegations of federal election crimes, together with marketing campaign finance violations, poll/voter fraud, and civil rights violations.
With the approaching midterm election, the FBI Cleveland Subject Workplace is offering info to voters relating to federal election crimes and keep away from them, and to encourage voters to report suspected violations.
“Cleveland FBI stands prepared to help; our crew of election crime coordinators, investigators, and particular brokers stay vigilant and targeted on defending the election from potential threats,” stated FBI Cleveland Particular Agent in Cost Gregory Nelsen. “Investigating allegations of voter fraud or different election crimes is one in every of our highest priorities. We encourage voters to study and perceive what constitutes an election crime and urge the general public to report any occasion of wrongdoing.”
Federal legislation protects towards such crimes as threatening violence towards election officers or workers, intimidating or bribing voters, shopping for and promoting votes, impersonating voters, altering vote tallies, stuffing poll containers, and marking ballots for voters towards their needs or with out their enter. It additionally comprises particular protections for the rights of voters, and gives that they will vote free from interference, together with intimidation, and different acts designed to forestall or discourage individuals from voting or voting for the candidate of their selection. The Voting Rights Act protects the best of voters to mark their very own poll or to be assisted by an individual of their selection (the place voters want help due to incapacity or lack of ability to learn or write in English).
An election crime turns into a federal crime when there are a number of federal candidates on the poll and a number of of the next happens:
- Election or polling place officers abuse their workplace;
- The conduct entails voter or poll fraud;
- The crime is motivated by hostility towards protected minority teams;
- The exercise violates federal marketing campaign finance legislation.
Voter or poll fraud is among the extra frequent election crimes and might embody:
- A voter deliberately giving false info when registering to vote (e.g. false citizenship claims);
- An ineligible individual votes (e.g., all non-citizens and a few convicted felons);
- A person votes greater than as soon as in a federal election (e.g., schemes to acquire absentee ballots and or vote within the title of others);
- Election officers who inappropriately use their workplace to learn a candidate or social gathering (e.g., letting unqualified voters forged ballots, stuffing a poll field with unlawful ballots, or altering poll tallies); and
- A voter receives one thing of worth (e.g. cash, cigarettes, medicine) in change for voting for a selected candidate or social gathering in a federal election or for registering to vote.
The FBI is standing watch assessing election-related threats, monitoring important complaints, and figuring out tendencies indicative of a coordinated nationwide effort to disrupt the election course of.
FBI Cleveland may have particular brokers accessible all through the protection space to obtain allegations of election fraud and different election abuses on election day and may be reached at 216-522-1400. The FBI election crime web site can inform voters additional: Election Crimes — FBI
Within the occasion of a criminal offense of violence or intimidation, please name 911 instantly earlier than contacting federal authorities. State and native police have main jurisdiction over polling locations and quicker response capability in an emergency.