United States Attorney Gary Restaino announced today that Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA) Sean Lokey will lead the efforts of his Office in connection with the upcoming August 2, 2022, primary election. AUSA Lokey has been appointed to serve as the District Election Officer for the District of Arizona, and in that capacity is responsible for overseeing the District’s handling of complaints of voting rights violations and election fraud in consultation with Justice Department headquarters in Washington.
“Election Day is an opportunity for Arizona’s citizens to make their voices heard,” said United States Attorney Restaino. “The Department of Justice has strong partnerships with the highly professional and dedicated election officials throughout the state. Together we can do our very best to ensure that every eligible voter who chooses to vote can do so easily and efficiently, without interference or discrimination.”
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. The 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 voting rights violations and election fraud while the polls are open through election day.
Federal law protects against such crimes as intimidating or bribing voters, buying and selling votes, impersonating voters, altering vote tallies, stuffing ballot boxes, and marking ballots for voters against their wishes. 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 designed to interrupt or intimidate voters at polling places by questioning, challenging, photographing, or videotaping them under the pretext that these are actions to uncover illegal voting may themselves 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 if needed.
Voting is the cornerstone of American democracy. We all must ensure that those who are entitled to vote exercise that right if they choose, and that those who seek to corrupt our elections are brought to justice. AUSA Lokey will be on duty on Primary Election Day on August 2, 2022, to respond to complaints of election fraud, voting rights violations, or intimidation. AUSA Lokey can be reached by the public at the following telephone number: 602-514-7516.
The FBI will also have special agents available in the Phoenix Field Division to receive allegations of election abuses on election day. FBI in Arizona can be reached by phone at 623-466-1999 or online at https://tips.fbi.gov/.
Complaints about possible violations of the federal voting rights laws can be made directly 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, call 911 immediately. State and local police have primary jurisdiction over polling places.