(STL.News) – The U.S. Attorney’s Office will monitor the federal, state, and local elections in Chicago and surrounding area on Nov. 3, 2020, John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, announced today.
As part of the monitoring effort, the U.S. Attorney’s Office will operate telephone hotlines for citizens to report complaints related to the voting process. Assistant U.S. Attorneys and other office personnel will monitor the hotlines and respond to complaints, as needed. The hotline numbers, staffed on Election Day only, are (312) 469-6157 and (312) 469-6158.
In addition, the FBI will have special agents available in the Chicago Field Office on Election Day to receive allegations of election fraud or other election-related abuses. The phone number for the FBI Chicago Field Office is (312) 421-6700.
“A crucial part of our democracy is the integrity of our electoral system,” said U.S. Attorney Lausch. “A citizen who is entitled to vote should not be hindered or prevented from doing so, and we stand ready to help ensure the sanctity of the process.”
The Department of Justice has an important role in deterring election fraud and discrimination at the polls, and combating these violations wherever they occur. The Department’s longstanding Election Day Program seeks to ensure public confidence in the voting process.
Federal voting-rights laws protect the rights of voters to mark their own ballot or be assisted by a person of their choice. Actions designed to interrupt or intimidate voters at polling places may constitute a violation. 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 or without their input. Violations carry penalties ranging from one to ten years in prison, and fines of up to $250,000.