☷Statement of U S Attorney Nick Brown Regarding Voter Intimidation or Threats
Federal Bureau of Investigation ( By Press Release office)
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Statement of U . S . Attorney Nick Brown regarding voter intimidation or threats Seattle – U . S . Attorney Nick Brown today issued the following statement as Western Washington voters mark their primary ballots and prepare to use ballot drop boxes throughout the Western District of Washington . “Voter intimidation is a federal crime and any attempt to harass or discourage citizens from voting at our state’s secure election drop boxes will be investigated and prosecuted in federal court , said U . S . Attorney Brown . “We recognize and revere the First Amendment right to free speech and political debate . But there is a time when protected speech turns into acts of intimidation or threats of violence . We will work with our law enforcement partners to investigate threats of violence , hate crimes , and any effort to intimidate voters or those tasked with ensuring free and fair elections in our state . ”Under federal law , it is a felony to intimidate or threaten other persons to discourage them from voting or for assisting others in voting . This crime is punishable by up to five years in prison . Federal law also prohibits bribing voters , buying and selling votes , impersonating voters , altering vote tallies , stuffing ballot boxes , and marking ballots for voters against their wishes or without their input . It also contains special protections for the rights of voters and provides that they can vote free from acts that intimidate or harass them . Further , federal law protects the right of voters to mark their own ballot or to be assisted by a person of their choice ( where voters need assistance because of disability or illiteracy ) . Through the primary and general election periods , the U . S . Attorney’s Office will have District Election Officer Seth Wilkinson working with the FBI and other law enforcement agencies to investigate and respond to any reports of voter intimidation or threats . Assistant United States Attorney Wilkinson can be reached at ( 206 ) 553 - 7970 and ask to leave a message with the Civil Rights complaint hotline . The local FBI field office can be reached by the public at ( 206 ) 622 - 0460 .
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