The office of the United States Attorney for Maine, in cooperation with Maine State officials, will participate in the U.S. Justice Department’s nationwide Election Day Program for the upcoming Nov. 8 general elections. The program is designed to handle complaints in the District of Maine of election fraud and voting rights abuses in consultation with Justice Department headquarters in Washington and the state of Maine Attorney General’s Office.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys John G. Osborn and Andrew McCormack will lead the efforts of the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Osborn and McCormack have been appointed to serve as District Election Officers for District of Maine. Maine Assistant Attorney General Phyllis Gardiner and Deputy Secretary of State Julie Flynn will coordinate election oversight for the state. Attorney Zachary Heiden of the American Civil Liberties Union of Maine will also be available to assist anyone who experiences difficulty in exercising their right to vote.

In addition, the Federal Bureau of Investigation will have special agents available in each field office and resident agency throughout the country to receive allegations of election fraud and other election abuses on election day.

Arrangements have been made for attorneys to have immediate access to both federal and state court judges during the times that the polls are open to assist in the enforcement of voting rights if necessary.

Federal law protects against such crimes as intimidating or bribing voters, buying and selling votes, 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.

Osborn and McCormack will be on duty in his office while the polls are open. They can be reached by the public at the following telephone numbers: 771-3214 (Osborn) and 262-4615 (McCormack).

The principal Maine FBI field office can be reached by the public at 774-9322.

Gardiner may be contacted at the Attorney General’s Office by calling 626-8880. Flynn can be reached at 624-7650. Heiden of the ACLU of Maine will be available at 650-9535.

Complaints about possible violations of the federal voting rights laws can be made directly to the Civil Rights Division’s Voting Section in Washington, D.C., by phone at (800) 253-3931 or (202) 307-2767, by fax at (202) 307-3961, by email to voting.section@usdoj.gov or by complaint form atustice.gov/crt/complaint/votintake/index.php.