On Monday Nov. 7, U.S. Attorney of the Eastern District of North Carolina federal court Michael Easley announced that an assistant U.S. Attorney, Susan Menzer, would serve as a district election officer (DEO). Menzer would oversee the district’s response to complaints regarding “election day complaints of voting rights concerns, threats of violence to election officials or staff, and election fraud, in consultation with Justice Department Headquarters in Washington.”
This effort is in conjunction with a national Election Day Program by the U.S. Department of Justice.
“Every citizen must be able to vote without interference or discrimination and to have their vote counted in a fair and free election,” Easley said in the announcement. “Similarly, election officials and staff must be able to serve without unlawful threats of violence. The Justice Department is committed to protecting the integrity of the election process.”
Easley’s statement detailed the DOJ’s responsibility for “deterring and combatting [sic] discrimination and intimidation at the polls, threats of violence directed at election officials and poll workers, and election fraud.” They said any violations will be addressed as they occur.
The release listed a few specific crimes that they will be looking for, including ” threatening violence against election officials or staff, 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.”
Easley said those who are aware of any voter fraud or other violations can contact Menzer directly: “In order to respond to complaints of voting rights concerns and election fraud during the upcoming election, and to ensure that such complaints are directed to the appropriate authorities, AUSA/DEO Menzer will be on duty in this District while the polls are open. She can be reached by the public at the following telephone numbers: (919)856-4530 and (919)856-4099.”
The Election Day Program has been in place across election cycles as a way to enforce federal elections law in real-time as the election unfolds.
Easley is the son of former N.C. Democrat Gov. Mike Easley. The United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina serves 44 eastern counties in the state.