Skip to main content

Election Day shenanigans Tuesday? Call the FBI. Here’s how

Written By | Nov 7, 2016

WASHINGTON, November 7, 2016 – The FBI has assigned specially trained agents to be on duty in all 50 states on Election Day 2016. Their job is to respond to issues related to voter fraud. But they can’t do that job unless they know what the problems are and where they are.

Overly aggressive campaigning, disrespectful treatment of voters, and officials rushing people through the voting process are obvious signs of possible trouble.

Read also: What to do when you spot suspicious activities at the polls

It’s true that individual voters can’t track every variety of voting fraud on voter intimidation at the polls, not to mention the subtle and often unseen potential for hackers to disrupt this year’s election. But bad things can also happen to the votes of legally registered voters who are trying to cast their ballots honestly and/or thought they did so..

What can you do if you notice anything that seems wrong or suspicious when you go to the polls to vote on Tuesday?

Call your local law enforcement authorities first

The Department of Justice states that complaints related to violence, threats of violence or intimidation at a polling place should be reported first to local police authorities by calling 911.

Beyond 911

Calling 911 may help keep the peace on Election Day. But you can do more to help get results—long-term results that could make a difference in future elections. How?

You can report problems to the FBI office in your area. Don’t feel that you’re weird or paranoid for calling them or that you’re “snitching.” Expressing your concerns about something that seems questionable at your polling place is the right thing to do.

Letting Federal officials know that you’re concerned about something that raises your suspicions during an authorized polling place is no different than calling the police to check on something suspicious in your neighborhood.

The FBI has 56 field offices across the country. Each one has at least one specially trained, specially assigned agent whose job on Election Day is to respond to citizens’ complaints about possible violations of Federal voting rights laws.

Here’s a link that will help you find your local FBI office:

If there’s no listing for your state, contact FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C. at the following link:

Again, agents have been assigned to every state even if no official field office is listed for your state, so try D.C. if you’re not quite sure where else to call.

Remember: Your taxes pay for the FBI. If circumstances at your polling place give you good reason to be suspicious, ask your local FBI agent to check things out—and to get back to you with what he or she finds out. Let’s all do our part to keep Election 2016 and elections in future years both open—and honest.

Frances Ponick

Fran Ponick is a speaker, author, commentator, teacher, and coach. She has decades of experience in technical, business, marketing, and proposal writing and editing, and has won awards in journalism, formal poetry, and acting. She has also served as a consultant to DoD. Her book, Only Angels Can Wing It: How to Prepare a Eulogy Quickly and Present It Compassionately, is available from