GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A longtime federal prosecutor has been named the District Election Officer for West Michigan, meaning he’ll handle reports of crime in the upcoming election.
District Election Officers are named by regional U.S. Attorney’s Offices all over the country and work with other federal officials to investigate claims of election crime.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Donald Daniels, who according to a Monday release from U.S. Attorney Patrick Miles has been a prosecutor for more than 30 years, will handle complaints about voter discrimination, intimidation and fraud during the Nov. 8 general election. He can be reached at 616.808.2014 until the polls close on election day. Complaints may also be filed with a local FBI field office — the one in Detroit can be reached at 313.965.2323.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office says allegations of violence, threats or intimidation at a poll place should first be reported to local law enforcement by calling 911. You can then report the incident to federal authorities.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office will also be working with the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division’s Voting Section to make sure laws protecting the right to vote are followed. If you think your voting rights have been violated, you can contact the Civil Rights Division over the phone at 1.800.253.3931 (toll free) or 202.307.2767, by TTY at 202.305.0082, via fax at 202.307.3961, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or online at the DOJ’s website.
==Above, U.S. Attorney Patrick Miles discusses what authorities are doing to combat election crimes.==
An EPIC-MRA poll released last week shows that while the majority of Michigan voters are confident in the integrity of the election, 22 percent are not.
But it’s worth noting that studies have shown election fraud is rare. A Loyola Law School professor found that in the 1 billion votes cast between 2000 and 2014, there were only 31 cases of impersonation fraud, the Associated Press reports. And while a 2012 Pew Research study found that one in eight voter registrations were invalid or slightly inaccurate, the same study did not find any evidence that had caused significant fraud.
Local clerks have told 24 Hour News 8 that they test voting machines early to make sure they’re working properly, have backup paper ballots, and that hacking a machine’s memory card would be “impossible.” Additionally, a representative from the Michigan Secretary of State’s Office told 24 Hour News 8 that the mechanics of voting in the state are secure and records are “hack-free.”