State, federal officials cooperate to ensure fair elections

By By Steve Gillespie / staff writer
Nov. 3, 2003
Federal officials have directed 44 poll watchers and six attorneys from the U.S. Department of Justice to help ensure fair elections Tuesday.
The effort is part of a nationwide Election Day program that will be led in the state by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Don Burkhalter and John Hailman.
Burkhalter has been appointed to serve as the district election officer for the Southern District of Mississippi, and Hailman has been appointed to serve as the district election officer for the Northern District of Mississippi.
Each will handle complaints of election fraud and voting rights abuses over which the federal government has jurisdiction.
Phil Carter and Heather Wagner, special assistant state attorneys general, and Leslie Scott, assistant secretary of state for elections, will handle problems or complaints over which the state has jurisdiction.
Anyone with a complaint of election fraud or voting rights abuses on Tuesday can call the following phone numbers, which will be manned while the polls are open:
The U.S. attorney's office, Southern District of Mississippi (601) 965-4480
The U.S. attorney's office, Northern District of Mississippi (662) 234-3351
The Mississippi attorney general's office (601) 359-3680
The Mississippi secretary of state's Office (800) 829-6786 or (800) 576-2550
People also can call, toll-free, (800) 253-3931 and speak to a U.S. Department of Justice attorney if they believe a federal election violation has occurred. Because this is not a federal election, most complaints are expected to involve state issues or violations.