PHILADELPHIA DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S ELECTION FRAUD TASK FORCE AND COMMITTEE OF SEVENTY PREPARE FOR PRIMARY ELECTION

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PHILADELPHIA (April 20, 2016) – Philadelphia District Attorney R. Seth Williams today announced that his Election Fraud Task Force is ready for April 26, Primary Election Day, and Philadelphian’s should call 215-686-9641, 9643 or 9644 if they experience any difficulty casting their ballot.

“It is always busy at the polls on presidential primary day so voters should make sure they check their registration and know the location of their polling place before they head out to vote,” said District Attorney Seth Williams. “And, as always, if someone sees a violation or experiences any difficulty in casting their ballot they should reach out to the Election Fraud Task Force so we can protect each Philadelphian’s right to vote; and we do protect the City’s voting processes. For example, last year we charged nine people with various voting violations.”

The Task Force has more than 60 Assistant District Attorneys (ADA) and several dozen Detectives who are available to address any Election Day concerns. The Office also has two ADAs specially assigned to support the Committee of Seventy’s Election Day activities. Typically, the Task Force is asked to respond to allegations of illegal voting, candidate write in issues, refusal of election boards to recognize poll watcher certificates and illegal electioneering.

“We’re looking forward to a vibrant Election Day with high turnout,” said Committee of Seventy CEO David Thornburgh. “But the excitement and high stakes also mean that all of us must work that much harder to assure each voter the right to vote independently, privately and free from intimidation or harassment.”

Over the past twenty years, the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office and the Committee of Seventy have partnered to protect each Philadelphian’s vote and to monitor Election Day complaints.

“Seventy is pleased to see the District Attorney’s Office continue its Election Task Force, and we urge voters, poll workers and campaign volunteers to immediately report possible election law violations to the DA’s hotline. For questions about the election or voting procedures, voters can visit seventy.org or call Seventy at 1-855-SEVENTY,” added Thornburgh.

Seventy will also be deploying more than 400 high school student Election Ambassadors to polling places around the city to help answer voters’ questions, as well as encouraging all voters to fill out an online survey to share and document their experience at the polls.

In 2014, DA Williams created the 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. The DAO will also issue Election Day updates via its Twitter account while the polls are open.


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