DA & AG Offices to Lead Voter Protection Effort on Election Day
Jane Roh, 215–686–8711, Jane.Roh@phila.gov
PHILADELPHIA (November 1, 2021) — The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office (DAO) and Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General (OAG) will again partner on the DAO Election Task Force (ETF) to ensure criminal complaints regarding voting on Election Day receive appropriate response and review. As occurred during the May primary election, the DAO will refer all complaints regarding District Attorney campaigns to the OAG for possible investigation and prosecution.
“Free and fair elections are the backbone of our democracy,” said Executive Deputy Attorney General Jennifer Selber. “The processes we’ve put in place with the Election Task Force will ensure that voters may have their issues addressed without concerns of a conflict of interest.”
“The District Attorney’s Office is once again ready to work with our partners in the city and law enforcement to ensure Philadelphians are able to access their right to vote,” Assistant District Attorney Andrew Wellbrock of the Election Task Force said. “We thank the Office of the Attorney General for working to ensure fair and independent review of any complaints made involving the District Attorney election. Attempts to interfere with access to the ballot, or to harass or threaten voters or poll workers, are extremely rare but a growing concern given the intensity of disinformation in 2020 and ongoing attempts to overturn election results following the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on January 6th. We will be vigilant as always to protect the rights of Philadelphia voters on Tuesday.”
City Commissioners Chair Lisa Deeley said, “We encourage all Philadelphians to go out and vote tomorrow. There is no such thing as an ‘off-year election,’ there are important offices and competitive races up and down the ballot. Make sure that your voice is heard.”
Starting at 7:00 a.m. on Tuesday when polls open, the DAO Election Task Force hotline, 215–686–9641, will be open for members of the public to report issues related to voting. The DAO and OAG will work with City Commissioners and Philadelphia Police to investigate violations of the Pennsylvania Election Code and other reported criminal activity at polling locations.
Approximately 20 ADAs and DAO Detectives will be monitoring and responding to voting-related complaints about unlawful electioneering, intimidation, and other issues, throughout Tuesday until the final vote is cast. Voters who are in line by 8:00 p.m. when polls close will be permitted to cast a ballot.
Members of the public are also encouraged to report problems related to voting to the national nonpartisan Election Protection hotline, 866-OUR-VOTE.
The ETF will remain active until election results are certified, during which time voting machine totals are tabulated, and mail-in ballots — including military and overseas ballots, which are accepted up to seven days post-election — are counted and/or recounted.
The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office is the largest prosecutor’s office in Pennsylvania, and one of the largest in the nation. It serves the more than 1.5 million residents of the City and County of Philadelphia, employing 600 lawyers, detectives, and support staff. The District Attorney’s Office is responsible for prosecution of approximately 40,000 criminal cases annually.