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Election Day: officials prepare to answer complaints at polls

by Diana Zoga / News 4

Posted on October 30, 2012 at 8:53 PM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 31 at 9:14 AM

( -- In the lead up to election day, you're likely hearing cries of voter suppression, intimidation, and fraud. In battleground states like Florida, people are reporting phone calls that claim voters can pick a candidate over the phone (not true). Here, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri says he doesn't anticipate widespread problems, but officials are prepared to respond to complaints.

"It is important people have confidence in elections and their results. So, we have a procedure in place that if people see something that they think is wrong or suspicious, they have avenues they can report it to," said Richard Callahan.

Callahan announced that the assistant U.S. Attorney John Bodenhausen will handle complaints of election fraud and voting rights abuses in Eastern Missouri - manning a phone line from 6 a.m. until 7 p.m. during the November 6th general election. Bodenhausen can be reached at 314-539-7733.  The FBI field office in St. Louis can be reached at 314-589-2500.

Callahan's counterpart in Illinois promised to do the same. Stephen Wigginton, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois says Norman Smith will take calls at 618-628-3700.

Both will address questions about fraud or intimidation tactics (criminal complaints). Complaints about long lines or not enough devices at polling places will be referred to local election boards.

For election day questions, call the Illinois State Board of Elections hotline at 217-782-4141.

In Missouri, you can call 1-800-NOW VOTE (1-800-669-8683) for general election questions.

Complaints about problems accessing a ballot or discrimination can also be called in to the Civil Rights Division in Washington D.C. at 1-800-253-3931.