The Justice Department says an Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA) will lead the efforts in connection with the department’s nationwide program for the upcoming general election on November 3rd. Eric Pfisterer has been appointed to serve as the District Election Officer (DEO) for the Middle District of Pennsylvania. He is responsible for overseeing complaints of election fraud and voting rights concerns. The Justice Department’s Election Day Program seeks to ensure public confidence in the integrity of the election process by providing local points of contact to report possible election fraud and voting rights violations while the polls are open.
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. It also contains special protections for the rights of voters, and provides that they can vote free from acts that intimidate or harass them. For example, actions of persons designed to interrupt or intimidate voters at polling places by questioning or challenging them, or by photographing or videotaping them, under the pretext that these are actions to uncover illegal voting may violate federal voting rights law. Further, federal law protects the right of voters to mark their own ballot or to be assisted by a person of their choice (where voters need assistance because of disability or illiteracy).
The franchise is the cornerstone of American democracy. In order to respond to complaints of election fraud or voting rights concerns during the voting period that ends on November 3, 2020, and to ensure that such complaints are directed to the appropriate authorities, Pfisterer will be on duty in this District while the polls are open. He can be reached by the public at the following telephone number: 717-221-4482.
In addition, the FBI will have special agents available in each field office and resident agency throughout the country to receive allegations of election fraud and other election abuses on election day. The local FBI field office can be reached by the public at 215-418-4000.
Complaints about possible violations of the federal voting rights laws can be made directly to the Civil Rights Division in Washington, DC by phone at 800-253-3931 or by complaint form at https://civilrights.justice.gov/. In the case of a crime of violence or intimidation, call 911 immediately, and before contacting federal authorities.
Mifflin and Perry counties are expanding high-speed internet access to hundreds of customers, expanding on SEDA-COG’s broadband project with Juniata County. Centre WISP will provide high-speed internet to 210 residents and five businesses in the River Road region south of McVeytown, and to 100 residents and three businesses in the Horse Valley Road area in west Perry County. Centre WISP has already begun service to some Juniata County residents and businesses. The counties worked with SEDA-COG to secure state and federal funds to incentivize the internet expansion project.
The Pennsylvania Senate has approved legislation to ensure safe visitation and enhanced care for residents of long-term care facilities. Senate Bill 1279 would require facilities to designate at least one essential family caregiver per resident that would be permitted to visit and care for a loved one during a disaster emergency. Under the bill, caregivers would be able to remain in contact with family members and provide companionship. Many Pennsylvania families faced COVID-19 restrictions that prevented them from visiting loved ones for months – even when all state and federal safety protocols could have been followed. The bill now moves to the House of Representatives for consideration.