If you get the idea that something is amiss at your polling place today (Election Day), there's a toll-free number to call to report it.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office will monitor the federal, state, and local primary elections in Chicago and surrounding suburbs on March 20, 2018, John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, announced yesterday in Chicago.

I know, I know. As a life-long Illinois resident, I'm shocked--shocked, I tell you, that there could even be the slightest sniff of impropriety regarding voting here in Illinois (Motto: Vote Early and Vote Often), but that's the word on the streets.

As part of the monitoring effort, the office will operate a telephone hotline for citizens to report complaints related to the voting process. Assistant U.S. Attorneys and other office personnel will monitor the hotline and respond to complaints as needed.

The hotline number, staffed on Election Day only, is (312) 469-6157.

Here's the U.S. Attorney's full statement:

The Department of Justice has an important role in deterring election fraud and discrimination at the polls, and combating these violations wherever they occur. The Department’s longstanding Election Day Program seeks to ensure public confidence in the voting process.

Federal voting-rights laws protect the rights of voters to mark their own ballot or be assisted by a person of their choice. Actions designed to interrupt or intimidate voters at polling places may constitute a violation. 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. Violations carry penalties ranging from one to ten years in prison and fines of up to $250,000.

For information as to the location and hours of polling sites, Illinois residents are advised to contact the Illinois State Board of Elections by logging on to www.elections.il.gov or by calling (312) 814-6440.


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