MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Local News

November 4, 2012

Federal voting rights official is appointed

— Assistant United States Attorney Dean Burris has been appointed to serve as the District Election Officer for the Eastern District of Oklahoma for Tuesday’s general elections, according to a media release from U.S. Attorney Mark Green.

Burris 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.  

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.

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.

Burris will be on duty in this district while the polls are open. He can be reached by the public at: (918) 684-5100.  

In addition, the FBI will have special agents available to receive allegations of election fraud and other election abuses on election day. The local FBI field office can be reached by the public at: (918) 687-7500.

Complaints about ballot access problems or discrimination can be made directly to the Civil Rights Division’s Voting Section in Washington at (800) 253-3931 or (202) 307-2767.

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