PHILADELPHIA (May 18, 2015) – Philadelphia District Attorney R. Seth Williams and President and CEO of the Committee of Seventy David Thornburgh today reminded Philadelphians that they need to vote on May 19 and call the District Attorney’s Election Fraud Task Force if they experience any difficulty casting their ballot at 215-686-9641,9643 or 9644.
“We don’t anticipate any problems on Election Day, but if there are we are ready to respond,” said District Attorney Seth Williams. “On May 19th we will have more than 60 Assistant District Attorneys and several dozen Detectives that can be quickly deployed throughout the City of Philadelphia. They will also be ready to not only answer the calls that come into our hotline but to respond, in many cases in person, to any allegations of voting irregularities or polling place issues.”
Over the past two decades the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office has proudly partnered with the Committee of Seventy, Philadelphia’s government reform group, to protect each Philadelphian’s vote and to monitor Election Day complaints. Last year, D.A. Williams created an Election Fraud Task Force to investigate and prosecute allegations of Election Day criminal activity. The task force continues to be part of the District Attorney’s Special Investigations Unit and is staffed by assistant district attorneys and detectives.
“We’re delighted to see the District Attorney’s Office continue to strengthen its election protection operation. Anyone who sees a possible election law violation needs to contact the District Attorney’s Office immediately,” said Committee of Seventy CEO David Thornburgh. “But for questions about the election or voting process, voters can visit seventy.org or call us at 1-855-SEVENTY. Trained volunteers will be available to answer calls throughout Election Day.”
The Committee of Seventy is also launching its new Election Ambassador Corps, a program that will place 250 city high school students at polling places to help answer voters’ questions and learn something about the election process. Participating students will have the opportunity to submit ideas about how to improve the voting process or increase turnout.
Typically, on Election Day, the task force responds to allegations of illegal voting, improper use of stamps for write in elections, refusal of election boards to recognize poll watcher certificates, illegal electioneering inside the polling place and writing on the voting machines.