Attorney General’s office sets up voter fraud hotline

Published 11:28 pm Friday, October 31, 2008

The Office of Attorney General will answer questions, examine any allegations of election fraud, and actively investigate any legitimate complaints of wrongdoing in the November 4 general election, according to Attorney General Troy King.

The Office of Attorney General has assigned an attorney specializing in election law to a fraud hotline. Citizens may call the Attorney General’s Office about alleged violations and voter fraud at 1-800-831-8814. There is no charge for calls to this number.

The Attorney General emphasized that he will continue to enforce absentee ballot statutes. The law requires that an absentee ballot must be witnessed by two adults or be notarized in order to be counted as a legal ballot.

King noted that under state law, it is a felony to:

n Willfully alter the vote on someone else’s absentee ballot,

n willfully cast more than one absentee ballot in the same election,

n Willfully vote in someone else’s name or falsify absentee ballot documents, or to

n Solicit or encourage illegal absentee voting activities.

The penalty is imprisonment of one to two years or a fine of $500 to $2,000, or both.

Attorney General King noted the following common inquiries received by the Office of Attorney General during previous elections:

n In addition to poll watchers, only voters, people who are assisting voters, election officials, sheriffs and deputies are allowed inside the polling place or within 30 feet of the door. Campaigning within 30 feet is strictly prohibited. Attorney General King urges all to abide by this provision of state law, which is intended to facilitate a smooth process of voting without disruption or interference.

n The assignment of poll watchers is provided by law as a safeguard of the elections process. Under state law, each candidate may appoint a single poll watcher for each polling place by presenting a letter to the inspectors of that polling place.

n Poll watchers are allowed to remain in the voting place during all voting hours, and to watch the tallying of the ballots afterward. They cannot assist voters, campaign at the polls, or suggest how anyone should vote; nor can a poll watcher wear any button, ribbon or other article bearing the candidate’s name.

n A citizen who is at the polls to vote or to assist someone in voting is allowed to wear a button, ribbon or other article bearing the candidate’s name.

n A voter who desires assistance at the polls is allowed to get help from anyone, except that voter’s employer or an agent of the employer, or an officer or agent of the voter’s union. The voter is not required to give any reason for requesting assistance, or to take any oath. The voter must simply name the person who will assist, and both must sign the poll list.

The Attorney General also reminds voters that voter identification is now required before casting your ballot.