The Justice Department is rolling out a nationwide plan to protect U.S. voters against potential infringements of their rights in the midterm elections. As before, authorities will also be ready to deal with claims of fraud, according to available information.
In D.C., U.S. Attorney Matthew Graves announced the selection of Assistant U.S. Attorneys Elizabeth Aloi and Joshua S. Rothstein as leaders for local efforts to deal with claims of threats to voting rights and potential fraud. Aloi and Rothstein will lead the D.C. U.S. Attorney’s Office’s “handling of election day complaints of voting rights concerns, threats of violence to election officials or staff, and election fraud, in consultation with Justice Department Headquarters in Washington,” as authorities explained. They’re going all out — a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s team in D.C. even includes phone numbers by which members of the public can reach Aloi and Rothstein, both of whom will be on duty throughout Election Day.
“Every citizen must be able to vote without interference or discrimination and to have that vote counted in a fair and free election,” Graves remarked. “Similarly, election officials and staff must be able to serve without being subject to unlawful threats of violence. The Department of Justice will always work tirelessly to protect the integrity of the election process.” Although fraud claims are, of course, popular on the Right, Republicans have also perpetrated various forms of it, although nothing large enough to swing elections.
In multiple locales, local officials and outside individuals have been involved in attempts at covertly copying data from local election systems amid efforts to find evidence of non-existent widespread fraud. In Mesa County, Colorado, the county clerk ordinarily responsible for leading elections was criminally charged for one such scheme. Elsewhere, individual GOP voters have broken ballot rules. After the 2020 elections, multiple residents of The Villages, a GOP-leaning retirement community in Florida, were charged with voting in more than one state.
There are also other possibilities, like direct physical intimidation of voters at the polls. In a recently reported incident in Maricopa County, Arizona, someone told authorities with the office of Secretary of State Katie Hobbs: “There’s a group of people hanging out near the ballot dropbox filming and photographing my wife and I as we approached the dropbox and accusing us of being a mule.” A popular film on the far-right called “2000 Mules” claims so-called mules perpetrated ballot box-stuffing operations in the 2020 election. A group involved in the film was recently referred by the office of the Arizona state Attorney General — who is a Republican — for federal investigation, after they told the office and local FBI agents they had provided evidence of their claims to the other. In reality, there was nothing in terms of supporting evidence ever produced for either law enforcement team, although the group also claimed in public it turned over evidence.
“In addition, the FBI 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,” the D.C. press release notes. It’s worth noting that the pace of lies about the electoral process in the U.S. has barely shifted since last year’s Capitol riot. Trump remains avidly at it.
BREAKING: this is the voter intimidation complaint filed by an Arizona voter this week outside a drop box.
The complaint describes how a voter claims they were filmed, followed and accused of 'being a mule.' pic.twitter.com/u0bepYlmJz
— Nicole Grigg (@NicoleSGrigg) October 20, 2022