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U.S.

Department of Justice
United States Attorney
District of New Jersey
Civil Division
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
PAUL J. FISHMAN
UNITED STATES ATTORNEY

970 Broad Street, Suite 700


Newark, NJ 07102
allan.urgent@usdoj.gov

main: (973) 645-2700


direct: (973) 297-2079
fax: (973) 297-2010

Allan B.K. Urgent


Assistant United States Attorney

October 20, 2016


By First Class Mail and Electronic Mail
Donna Barber, Elections Manager
State of New Jersey, Department of State
New Jersey Division of Elections
P.O. Box 304
Trenton, NJ 08625-0304
Re: November 8, 2016, Elections
Dear Ms. Barber:
The purpose of this letter is to advise you that Assistant United States
Attorneys Allan B. K. Urgent, Barbara Llanes, and Matthew Skahill are serving as
the United States Attorneys District Election Officers for the District of New
Jersey, and in that capacity will be leading the efforts of our Office in connection
with the implementation of the Justice Departments nationwide Election Day
Program for the upcoming November 8, 2016, general elections. Specifically, we are
responsible for overseeing our Districts handling of complaints of election crimes
and voting rights abuses relating to the November 2016 elections in consultation
with the Justice Departments Civil Rights and Criminal Divisions in Washington.
On election day, they can be reached at the following number (888) 636-6596.
As is generally the case in matters involving the administration of elections,
it is likely that the majority of questions, concerns, and complaints received by your
Office regarding the upcoming elections will relate to matters subject to the sole
jurisdiction of State or local authorities.
However, the Justice Department also has important responsibilities relating
to the integrity of federal elections and the protection of voting rights. To assist you
in identifying election fraud matters that might be of federal interest, I have set
forth a brief outline below of the principal bases through which the federal

government attains criminal jurisdiction over election fraud and the general types
of conduct that can be prosecuted under existing federal criminal laws.
I.

Federal Criminal Jurisdiction

Federal criminal jurisdiction over the activities described below can generally
be attained when those activities take place:

II.

In elections where a federal candidates name is on the ballot.

In any election (federal or nonfederal), when the fraud involves the


necessary participation of an election official acting under color of law.

In connection with voter registration because registration is unitary,


conferring eligibility to vote in both State and federal elections, and thus
conferring federal jurisdiction regardless of the type of election at issue.

Conduct Actionable as Federal Election Fraud

The following activities provide a basis for federal prosecution under the
statutes referenced in each category:

Paying individuals to register to vote, or to vote in elections where a


federal candidates name is on the ballot (52 U.S.C. 10307(c)1, (18 U.S.C.
597), or through the use of telephones or the mail in those States where
vote buying is a bribery offense (18 U.S.C. 1952), or in federal elections
in those States where purchased votes or registrations are voidable under
State law (52 U.S.C. 20511).2

Multiple voting in a federal election, voting in a federal election for


individuals who do not personally participate in the voting act attributed
to them, or impersonating voters in a federal election (52 U.S.C.
10307(c), 10307(e), and 20511).3

Intimidating voters through physical force in any election (18 U.S.C.


245(b)(1)(A)); or through physical or economic intimidation in connection
with registration to vote, or with voting in a federal election (52 U.S.C.
20511,4 18 U.S.C. 594). If the victim is a federal employee, intimidation
in connection with all elections is prohibited (18 U.S.C. 610).

Former 42 U.S.C. 1973i(c).


Former 42 U.S.C. 1973gg-10.
3 Former 42 U.S.C. 1973i(c), 1973i(e), and 1973gg-10.
4 Former 42 U.S.C. 1973gg-10.
1
2

Malfeasance by election officials acting under color of law, such as


diluting valid ballots with invalid ones (ballot box stuffing), rendering
false vote tabulations, or preventing valid voter registrations or votes from
being given effect in any election (18 U.S.C. 241, 242), as well as in
elections where federal candidates are on the ballot (52 U.S.C. 10307(c),
10307(e), and 20511).5

Registering to vote, or voting in a federal election, by persons who are not


entitled to vote under State law, most notably persons who have lost the
franchise under State law upon conviction of a serious crime, or by
persons who are not United States citizens (52 U.S.C. 20511).6

Prevent or impeding qualified voters from participating in an election


where a federal candidates name is on the ballot through such tactics as
disseminating false information as to the date, timing, or location of
federal voting activity (18 U.S.C. 241, 242).

Falsely claiming United States citizenship in connection with registering


to vote or voting in any election (18 U.S.C. 911, 1015(f)).

Voting in a federal election by anyone who is not a United States citizen


where citizenship is a requisite for the franchise (18 U.S.C. 611).

Providing false information concerning an individuals name, address, or


period of residence in order to register to vote, or to vote in a federal
election (52 U.S.C. 10307(c) and 20511).7

Causing the submission of voter registrations in any election, or of ballots


in federal elections, that are materially defective under State law (52
U.S.C. 20511).8

Ordering, keeping, or having under ones control any troops or armed men
at any polling place in a general or special election if one is a civil or
military officer or employee of the United States government (18 U.S.C.
592).

Former 42 U.S.C. 1973i(c), 1973i(e), and 1973gg-10.


Former 42 U.S.C. 1973gg-10.
7 Former 42 U.S.C. 1973i(c) and 1973gg-10.
8 Former 42 U.S.C. 1973gg-10.
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