FBI warns voters about election-related crimes

The FBI is warning voters about election-related crimes, a standard warning before all major elections, but one that calls for increased vigilance this year amid threats to local election workers.

Specifically, the FBI warns voters about voting and fraud, campaign finance violations, and civil rights violations such as voter suppression and voter intimidation.

“Free and fair democratic elections are one of the fundamental pillars of the United States,” the FBI said in its warning about the November 2022 midterm elections. “The FBI is committed to protecting the right to vote of every eligible citizen. practice, the FBI provides this information to educate voters about federal election crimes and how to avoid them and to encourage voters to report suspected violations to your local FBI field office.”

Examples of federal election crimes include providing false information during voter registration, voting more than once, buying votes, altering ballot markings, intentionally lying about the time or place of an election to prevent people from voting and threatening voters with physical or financial harm. , the FBI noted. The FBI also warned voters about fraudulent political action committees that divert funds for personal gain.

Multiple States Hold Primary Elections
FILE: NEW YORK, NEW YORK – JUNE 28: A poll worker peels off voting stickers during the June primary election at the Brooklyn Central Library on June 28, 2022 in New York, New York.

Michael M Santiago/GettyImages/Getty Images

The FBI encouraged voters to know when, where and how to vote. look for reliable information. report suspected election-related crimes; and do research before making political donations.

Meanwhile, seven states continue to see unusual levels of threats to election workers, senior FBI officials said in a briefing earlier this month. Since June 2021, the FBI has received more than 1,000 tips about threats against election officials, according to the agency. About 11% of these tips have led to FBI investigations.

Those states are Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Nevada and Wisconsin — all states where the results of the 2020 election have been contested, officials noted. President Biden won every single one of those states. FBI officials are discussing how to deal with these threats as state officials in 8,800 constituencies prepare for the midterm elections next month.

Last week, an Iowa man was arrested for allegedly threatening to “lynch” and “hang” a Maricopa County, Arizona election official nearly a year after the 2020 election, the Justice Department announced. Mark Rissi was arrested Thursday for allegedly leaving voicemails for the unnamed election official in which Rissi allegedly threatened the official with lynching, hanging and torches, according to the indictment filed against him.

— Andy Triay and Jeff Pegues contributed to this report

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