Continuing a longstanding Justice Department tradition, Attorney General William P. Barr today issued the following statement: “Americans have the opportunity once again to help shape the future of this nation by exercising their right to vote. It is a right that forms the foundation of our democratic system of government, and is precious to all Americans. The Department of Justice will work tirelessly alongside other federal, state, and local agencies to protect that right as it is administered by state and local jurisdictions across the nation.”
In anticipation of the upcoming general elections, the Department of Justice today provided information about its particular efforts, through the Criminal Division, Civil Rights Division, and National Security Division, to ensure that all qualified voters have the opportunity to cast their ballots and have their votes counted free of discrimination, intimidation, or fraud in the election process.
Criminal Division and the Department’s 94 U.S. Attorney’s Offices:
The department’s Criminal Division oversees the enforcement of federal laws that criminalize certain forms of election fraud and vindicate the integrity of the federal election process.
The Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section and the department’s 94 U.S. Attorney’s Offices are responsible for enforcing the federal criminal laws that prohibit various forms of election fraud, such as destruction of ballots, vote-buying, multiple voting, submission of fraudulent ballots or registrations, and alteration of votes, and malfeasance by postal or election officials and employees. The Criminal Division is also responsible for enforcing federal criminal law prohibiting voter intimidation for reasons other than race, color, national origin, or religion (as noted below, voter intimidation that has a basis in race, color, national origin, or religion is addressed by the Civil Rights Division).
The U.S. Attorney’s Offices around the country designate Assistant U.S. Attorneys who serve as District Election Officers (DEOs) in the respective Districts. DEOs are responsible for overseeing potential election-crime matters in their Districts, and for coordinating with the department’s election-crime experts in Washington, D.C.