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Government/Politics

Prosecutor Named To Handle Election Complaints For U.S. Western District Of Texas

EntranceToFederalCourthouseInSanAntonio.jpg
Brian Kirkpatrick | Texas Public Radio
The entrance to the federal courthouse in San Antonio.

The U.S Attorney’s Office of the Western District of Texas has named a prosecutor to handle election-related criminal complaints locally and elsewhere in the district.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Devlin is responsible for overseeing the district’s handling of complaints of election fraud and voting rights concerns in consultation with Justice Department in Washington, D.C.

"This is not a novel or first of its kind, appointment, nor is this AUSA Devlin's first general election to serve as our DEO," said a spokesman.

Each of the 94 judicial districts appoints someone to coordinate complaints and possible crimes.

While the act itself is normal, this election cycle has been anything but, especially as we head into election day.

Concerns around voter intimidation and violence at the polls have risen throughout the election season. In a recent poll, three out of four voters were very or somewhat concerned about violence on Tuesday.

The FBI is investigating an incident where supporters of president Donald Trump surrounded a Biden-Harris campaign on Interstate 35, causing a minor collision.

Meanwhile, more Americans of both political party are increasingly willing to accept violence if the other side wins, according to a recent Hoover Institution poll.

"But what we are seeing over the last several weeks, is even with voter suppression barriers and these potential threats of voter intimidation, voters are turning out in spite of that," said H. Drew Galloway, CEO of MOVETexas, "And that is inspiring."

People who interrupt or intimidate voters at polling places by questioning or challenging them, or by photographing or videotaping them -- even under the pretext of uncovering illegal voting -- may violate federal voting rights law.

This could take on a new dimension this year as President Trump's son Donald Trump Jr. has called on people to become informal poll watchers to keep the election from "being stolen" from his father. Legal poll watchers must meet specific criteria and be appointed.

Federal law protects against such crimes as intimidating or 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.

"We all must ensure that those who are entitled to the franchise exercise it if they choose, and that those who seek to corrupt it are brought to justice,? said U.S. Attorney Gregg Sofer in a statement announcing Devlin's appointment.

Devlin can be reached by the public at the following telephone numbers: (512) 916-5858 or (512) 673-2979.

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