A telephone hotline to report possible election fraud is being established in Connecticut by federal and state officials.
The hotline will be staffed by State Elections Enforcement Commission (SEEC) staff members during polling hours on Election Day.
Anyone with knowledge of election fraud or voting rights abuses is encouraged to call 866-733-2463 (866-SEEC-INFO) to report suspected violations. The number is toll-free statewide. Individuals also can call the SEEC at 860-256-2940.
The SEEC staff will answer questions, advise on complaint procedures and, if appropriate, request the assistance of state criminal or federal law enforcement authorities in the investigation and possible prosecution of the matter.
Citizens can also send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to communicate with the SEEC and the Secretary of the State’s Office on Election Day.
Polls will be open for voting on Tuesday, Nov. 4 from 6 a.m.-8 p.m.
Intimidation, bribery, altering, etc.
Federal law protects against crimes such 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.
Federal law 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 individuals 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.
FBI agents available
The FBI in Connecticut and across the country will have special agents available to receive allegations of election fraud and other election abuses on Election Day. The local FBI field office in New Haven can be reached by the public at 203-777-6311.
In addition, complaints about ballot access problems or discrimination can be made directly to the Civil Rights Division’s Voting Section in Washington at 800-253-3931 or 202-307-2767.
On Election Day, representatives of the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the FBI will be in direct contact with the SEEC, the Secretary of the State’s Office and the office of the Chief State’s Attorney in order to receive any complaints of electoral corruption or civil rights violations.
The SEEC is the primary elections investigative and civil enforcement authority in Connecticut. The Secretary of the State’s Office is charged with overseeing all elections in Connecticut, which includes advising and assisting local registrars of voters and town clerks on their statutory responsibilities regarding administration of elections.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarah P. Karwan has been appointed to serve as the district election officer for Connecticut. In that capacity, Karwan will be responsible for overseeing the handling of possible complaints of election fraud and voting rights abuses in Connecticut, in consultation with U.S. Justice Department headquarters in Washington.
— as edited by Brad Durrell for the Shelton Herald