The Wyoming U.S. Attorney has named a prosecutor to oversee the handling of complaints of election fraud and voting rights concerns during the Nov. 3 general election, according to a news release.

U.S. Attorney Mark Klaassen named Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy Gist as the Wyoming district election officer to head those efforts with the U.S. Department of Justice.

Mark Klaassen. Courtesy, Wyoming U.S. Attorney's Office

“Every citizen must be able to vote without interference or discrimination and to have that vote counted without it being stolen because of fraud," Klaassen said. "The Department of Justice will always act appropriately to protect the integrity of the election process.”

Federal law protects against these violations of election crimes:

  • 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.

The law also protects the rights of people to vote free from actions that intimidate or harass them, Klaassen said.

These actions include interrupting or intimidating voters at polling places by questioning or challenging them, or by photographing or video-recording them under the pretext of uncovering illegal voting.

The law also protects the right of voters to mark their own ballot or to be assisted by a person of their choice if they need help because of disability or illiteracy.

Klaassen said Gist will be on duty while the polls are open. Gist can be reached by calling (307) 332-8195.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation will have special agents available at its field offices to receive allegations of election fraud and other election abuses on Nov. 3. The Wyoming FBI field office can be reached by calling (307) 335-7559.

Likewise, complaints about possible violations of the federal voting rights laws can be made directly to the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., by phone at 800- 253-3931 or by filing a complaint form at the division's website.

However, call 911 immediately in the case of a crime of violence or intimidation before contacting federal authorities. State and local police have primary jurisdiction over polling places, and almost always have faster reaction capacity in an emergency.

Klaassen added that ensuring free and fair elections depends in large part on the cooperation of American voters.

"It is imperative that those who have specific information about discrimination or election fraud make that information available to my Office, the FBI, or the Civil Rights Division," he said.

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