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U.S. Attorney promises election protection

U.S. Attorney for District of Idaho Bart Davis logo
U.S. Attorney for District of Idaho Bart Davis

BOISE, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - U.S. Attorney for Idaho Bart Davis has named three Assistant US Attorneys to serve as Election Officers for the District of Idaho. Raymond Patricco, Jack Haycock, and Traci Whelan will oversee the district’s handling of complaints of election fraud or voting rights concerns. 

Davis said the Justice Department’s program is aimed at deterring election fraud and discrimination at the polls.

“Every citizen must be able to vote without interference or discrimination and to have that vote counted,” said U.S. Attorney Davis. “The Department of Justice must act to protect the integrity of the election process.”

Federal law protects against the crimes of 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 (where voters need assistance because of disability or illiteracy).

Davis said the FBI will have special agents available in each field office to receive allegations of election day abuses.  But, he said people should call 911 immediately, even before contacting federal authorities.

Patricco, Haycock, and Whelan will be on duty in this District while the polls are open. They can be reached by the public at the following telephone numbers: (208) 334-9118 in Boise for AUSA Patricco; (208) 251-0589 in Pocatello for AUSA Haycock; or (208) 676-7344 in Coeur d’Alene for AUSA Whelan.

The Salt Lake City FBI field office, which covers Idaho, can be reached by the public at (801) 579-1400.

“Ensuring free and fair elections depends in large part on the cooperation of the American electorate,” Davis said. “It is imperative that those who have specific information about discrimination or election fraud make that information available to my office, the FBI, or the Civil Rights Division.”

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