The U.S. attorney’s office and the FBI will be on call to investigate any reports of fraud or intimidation in Eastern Washington during the presidential election. They won’t be able to check out vague claims that one candidate or another is rigging the election.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Ian Garriques has been named the district election officer, and will be the point person for complaints about illegal election activity and an FBI agent will also be available. Federal prosecutors around the nation are assigned to that task.
Because Washington votes by mail, some problems that can occur in other states, such as intimidation of voters at a polling place, don’t occur here, Garriques said Tuesday. There is still the possibility of fraud, ballot destruction, threatening people not to vote, people voting who are not eligible, trying to convince voters they aren’t eligible when they are, or hoaxes that could occur.
“There could be a whole slew of claims,” he said. Eastern Washington residents who believe they have information about such activity can call 509-454-4425; anyone witnessing an actual crime should call 911.
Enforcing voting laws in a presidential election is a joint federal and state responsibility, Garriques said.