U.S. Attorney’s Office to monitor election complaints in Kansas

Vote (KSN File Photo)

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNW) – A federal prosecutor will be on duty during election day to respond to complaints of possible election fraud and voting rights violations in Kansas.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Leon Patton will be available to the public at 913-551-6730 while the polls are open on Nov. 8.

“Every citizen must be able to vote without interference or discrimination and to have that vote counted without it being stolen because of fraud,” Beall said. “We will act promptly and aggressively to protect the integrity of the election process.”

Voting rights activists say they are not opposed to a monitor, but they want assurances thee will not be a police presence at the polls.

“No, I’m not opposed to the idea,” says Kansas Appleseed activist, Djuan Wash. “But, we don’t need anyone… physically at the polls. I believe that our elections here are safe and I don’t believe that there is any type of voter fraud going on.”

We asked Kansas Secretary of State, Kris Kobach, if his office wants a monitor in play. Kobach has said he wants to continue to fight what he calls fraud, and potential voter fraud in Kansas.

“We have one of the most secure elections in the country, in Kansas,” said Kobach. But, he adds, he does not want monitors physically at locations in the form of police or officers.

“Well, there’s a tradition that our polling places should be open, that there should be a feeling of freedom and accessibility,” said Kobach. “And so, generally, we don’t have armed guards at polling places or anything like that. And we’d like to keep that tradition in-tact.”

U.S. Attorney Tom Beall said he does not expect any problems during the voting. He noted, however, that there are penalties under federal law for any efforts to fraudulently influence the outcome of the election or to improperly prevent another person from exercising the right to vote.

U.S. Attorney spokesman James Cross says this is nothing new. He indicates monitoring is complain-driven and they will not be at polling places.

Patton will join other federal prosecutors nationwide as part of the Justice Department’s election-day monitoring program. They will work in consultation with Justice Department headquarters.

The FBI’s Kansas City Field Office will also have Special Agents available to receive allegations of election fraud, intimidation, suppression, and other election abuses. The public may provide information regarding possible election crimes to the FBI’s Kansas City Field Office’s toll-free hotline, 1-855-527-2847, or email kcpctip@ic.fbi.gov.

Citizen complaints about possible violations of the federal voting rights laws can be made directly to the Civil Rights Division’s Voting Section in Washington by phone at 1-800-253-3931 or 202-307-2767, by fax at 202-307-3961, by email to voting.section@usdoj.gov, or by complaint form at http://www.justice.gov/crt/complaint/votintake/index.php .

Any questions involving state or local issues may be referred to the Elections Division of the Kansas Secretary of State’s Office at 1-800-262-8683, or to the pertinent county election office.