Wyoming U.S. Attorney Names Oversight Officer For Nov. 8 Election
An Assistant U.S. Attorney will lead the state's nationwide program for the Nov. 8 general election, according to a news release from the Wyoming U.S. Attorney's Office.
Acting Wyoming U.S. Attorney Nicholas Vassallo named Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy W. Gist to oversee election day complaints of voting rights concerns, threats of violence to election officials or staff and election fraud, in consultation with the U.S. Department of Justice.
“Wyoming has long been successful in holding fair elections; however, we want to ensure that the process is free from interference or discrimination and that election officials and staff do not experience unlawful threats of violence,” Vassallo said in the news release.
"If you have specific information about voting right concerns or election fraud, please report it immediately to the local FBI office or to our office so we can take appropriate action," he said.
The DOJ's Election Day Program seeks to ensure public confidence by providing local contacts within the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the FBI for people to report possible federal election law violations.
Federal law protects against these and other election-related crimes:
- Threatening violence against election officials or staff.
- Intimidating or bribing voters.
- Buying and selling votes.
- Impersonating voters.
- Altering vote tallies.
- Stuffing ballot boxes.
- Marking ballots for voters against their wishes or without their input.
Federal law also contains special protections for voters' rights. It provides they can vote free from interference including intimidation and other acts to prevent or discourage people from voting or voting for the candidate of their choice.
Likewise, the Voting Rights Act 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 inability to read or write in English).
Gist will be on duty in the Wyoming U.S. District while the polls are open, and can be reached at the Lander Office at 307-332-8195 or toll-free at 1-888-266-1309.
The FBI also will have special agents available in each field office and resident agency nationwide to receive allegations of election fraud and other election abuses.
The local FBI field office can be reached at 307-632-6224.
Complaints about possible violations of the federal voting rights laws can be made directly to the Civil Rights Division in Washington, DC at 800-253-3931 or by complaint form at https://civilrights.justice.gov.
In the case of a crime of violence or intimidation, call 911 immediately and before contacting federal authorities.
State and local police have primary jurisdiction over polling places, and almost always have faster reaction capacity in an emergency.