United States Attorney Christopher R. Kavanaugh appointed officials to address election complaints in western Virginia.
Assistant United States Attorneys Lena Busscher in the Abingdon Division, Michael Baudinet in the Roanoke Division and Ronald M. Huber in the Charlottesville Division have been appointed to serve as District Election Officers in the Western District.
According to the press release, Busscher, Baudinet and Huber will be responsible for overseeing the handling of Election Day complaints and voting rights concerns in the Western District. They will also handle threats of violence to election officials or staff and election fraud, in conjunction with Justice Department Headquarters in Washington, D.C.
“Every citizen must be able to vote without interference or discrimination and to have that vote counted in a fair and free election. Similarly, election officials and staff must be able to serve without being subject to threats of violence. The Department of Justice continues to work tirelessly to protect the integrity of the election process,” Kavanaugh said in the press release.
Federal law protects election officials, voters and staff against threats of violence, intimidation, bribes, buying and selling votes, impersonating voters, altering vote tallies, stuffing ballot boxes and marking ballots for voters against their wishes or without their input, according to the press release. The Voting Rights Act protects the rights of voters to mark their own ballots or be assisted by a person of their choice.
“The franchise is the cornerstone of American democracy. We all must ensure that those who are entitled to vote can exercise that right if they choose, and that those who seek to corrupt the voting system are brought to justice,” Kavanaugh said in the press release. “To respond to complaints of voting rights concerns during the upcoming election, we must ensure that such complaints are directed to the appropriate authorities.”
On Election Day, Busscher, Baudinet and Huber will be on duty while polls are open and the public may reach them at 540-857-2250. Special FBI agents will also be in each field office and resident agency throughout the United States to receive allegations of election fraud and abuse. The local FBI field office is available at 804-261-1044 on Election Day. Complaints of possible violations of federal voting rights laws may be made to the Civil Rights Division in Washington, D.C. at 800-253-3931 or online. Crimes of violence or intimidation should be directed to 911 and handled by local and state police.
“Ensuring free and fair elections depends in large part on the assistance of the American electorate. It is important that those who have specific information about voting rights concerns or election fraud make that information available to the Department of Justice,” Kavanaugh said.
Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022.