U.S. Attorney announces election day presence
United States Attorney Felicia C. Adams announced today that Assistant United States
Attorney (AUSA) Robert W. Coleman, II will lead the efforts of her Office in connection with the
Justice Department’s nationwide Election Day Program for the upcoming November 6, 2012,
general elections. AUSA Robert W. Coleman, II has been appointed to serve as the District
Election Officer (DEO) for the Northern District of Mississippi and in that capacity is responsible
for overseeing the District’s handling of complaints of election fraud and voting rights abuses in
consultation with Justice Department Headquarters in Washington.
United States Attorney Adams said, “Every citizen must be able to vote without
interference or discrimination and to have that vote counted without it being stolen because of
fraud. The Department of Justice will act promptly and aggressively to protect the integrity of the
The Department of Justice has an important role in deterring election fraud and
discrimination at the polls, and combating these violations whenever and wherever they occur.
This Department’s long-standing Election Day Program furthers these goals, and also seeks to
ensure public confidence in the integrity of the election process by providing local points of
contact within the Department for the public to report possible election fraud and voting rights
violations while the polls are open on Election Day.
Federal law protects against such crimes as intimidating or bribing voters, buying and
selling votes, 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 acts that intimidate or harass them. For example, actions of
persons designed to interrupt or intimidate voters at polling places by questioning or challenging
them or by photographing or videotaping them, under the pretext that these are actions to uncover
illegal voting may violate federal voting rights law. Further, federal law protects the right of
voters to mark their own ballot or to be assisted by a person of their choice.
The franchise is the cornerstone of American democracy. We all must ensure that those
who are entitled to the franchise exercise it if they choose, and that those who seek to corrupt it are
brought to justice. In order to respond to complaints of election fraud or voting rights abuses on
November 6, 2012, and to ensure that such complaints are directed to the appropriate authorities,
United States Attorney Adams stated that AUSA/DEO Robert Coleman will be on duty in this
District while the polls are open. He can be reached by the public at the following telephone
number: (662) 234-3351.
In addition, 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 local FBI can be reached by the public at (662) 234-1713.
Complaints about ballot access problems or discrimination can be made directly to the
Civil Rights Division’s Voting Section in Washington at 1-800-253-3931 or (202) 307-2767.
United States Attorney Adams said, “Ensuring free and fair elections depends in large part
on the cooperation of the American electorate. It is imperative that those who have specific
information about discrimination or election fraud make that information available immediately to
my Office, the FBI or the Civil Rights Division.”
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