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Election Security: What to know about your rights on Election day

Early voters waited in line Wednesday in Miami.
Joe Raedle
/
Getty Images
Early voters waited in line Wednesday in Miami.

Ahead of Election Day, the federal government is preparing to deal with threats, complaints, allegations of voter fraud, and voting rights concerns.

Assistant US Attorney Susan Mezner has been appointed to oversee the eastern district of North Carolina.

U.S. Attorney Michael Easley, who appointed her, said, “Every citizen must be able to vote without interference or discrimination and to have their vote counted in a fair and free election. Similarly, election officials and staff must be able to serve without unlawful threats of violence. The Justice Department is committed to protecting the integrity of the election process.”

According to a press release, the Department of Justice will deter and combat discrimination and intimidation at the polls, threats of violence directed at election officials and poll workers, and election fraud.

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).

Menzer will be on duty in this District while the polls are open. She can be reached by the public at the following telephone numbers: (919) 856-4530 and (919) 856-4099.

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 field office can be reached by the public at (704) 672-6100.

Complaints about possible violations of the federal voting rights laws can be made directly to the Civil Rights Division in Washington, DC by phone at 800-253-3931 or by complaint form at https://civilrights.justice.gov/ .

Please note, however, in the case of a crime of violence or intimidation, citizens should 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.

Click through to find your polling location in New Hanover County, Pender County, or Brunswick County.