Justice protecting our right to vote

The public may call the U.S. Attorney’s Office Election Hotline at 888-636-6596 to report threats against voters, threats against election workers, or any other activities that would interfere with a citizen’s right to vote in New Jersey’s November 2, 2021 general election.

Early voting began in New Jersey on Saturday, October 23, 2021 and continues through Sunday, October 31, 2021.

The Election Hotline will be active from October 22, 2021 through November 3, 2021.

Federal law protects the rights of voters to cast their ballots without discrimination and free from acts designed to harass or intimidate them.

Federal law also permits voters to have an accessible polling place and to mark their own ballot, or to be assisted by a person of their choice for reasons of disability, illiteracy, or limited English proficiency.

As the Department of Justice reiterated when it launched the Task Force to Combat Threats against Election Workers, federal law also prohibits threats against election workers, administrators, officials, and others associated with the electoral process.

The Justice Department and its federal law enforcement partners will work with state and local officials to respond to complaints and to ensure that every voter is able to cast a ballot.

U.S. Attorney Rachel Honig said, “We are committed to ensuring free and fair elections in New Jersey by protecting the right of every voter to access polling places and cast a ballot and the right of every election worker to work without harassment, threats, or intimidation. We encourage the public to reach out to the office to report any threats, discrimination, or other concerns.”

In the case of a crime of violence or intimidation, please call 911 immediately.

The public may report potential violations of federal voting rights laws at any time by calling the Civil Rights Hotline, 855-281-3339, or by submitting an online complaint here.

Donald Trump’s propagation of the baseless lie that the 2020 election was stolen has spawned an epidemic of death threats directed at election workers. In an alarming recent survey by the nonpartisan Brennan Center, one in three election workers reported feeling unsafe, one in five listed threats to their lives as a concern, and one in six reported being threatened because of their job. 

But despite that deluge of threats directed at election workers, arrests and prosecutions have been few and far between, even though the intimidation of election workers violates at least three different federal civil rights laws as well as other statutes banning threats of force or violence.

Fortunately, the Department of Justice recently took an important first step to counter these threats by forming a new task force devoted to combating threats of violence against election workers.

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