Las Vegas, Nevada - United States Attorney Daniel G. Bogden announced that Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA) Carla Higginbotham will lead the efforts of his Office in connection with the Justice Department’s nationwide Election Day Program for the upcoming November 8, 2016, general elections. AUSA Higginbotham has been appointed to serve as the District Election Officer (DEO) for the District of Nevada, 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.
“Every citizen must be able to vote without interference or discrimination and to have that vote counted without it being stolen because of fraud,” stated U.S. Attorney Bogden. “The Department of Justice will act promptly and aggressively to protect the integrity of the election process.”
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 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, 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 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.
On Election Day, Nov. 8, there will be command posts in Reno and Las Vegas staffed by members of the Nevada Election Integrity Task Force, which includes the FBI, Nevada Secretary of State’s Office and U.S. Attorney’s Office. They will assist with the investigation of any complaints of election fraud or voting rights abuses, and will ensure that such complaints are directed to the appropriate authorities.
Complaints may be filed by a number of ways:
- By completing the Election Law Violation Form on the Nevada Secretary of State’s website: http://nvsos.gov/sos/elections/election-information/resources/report-potential-election-law-violation;
- By calling the NV Secretary of State at (775) 684-5718;
- By calling the FBI in Las Vegas at (702) 385-1281 and asking for FBI Special Agent Michael B. Elliott.
Email links icon, or by complaint form at http://www.justice.gov/crt/complaint/votintake/index.php
- By contacting our United States Attorney’s Office Points of Contact. In southern Nevada, AUSA Nick Dickinson can be reached at (702) 388-6336. In northern Nevada, AUSA Carla Higginbotham can be reached by contacting (775) 784-5438.
We are pleased to again be a part of this most important effort to ensure the 2016 election is administered fairly. 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.