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Press Release

AG Shapiro and Pennsylvania District Attorneys: Your Right To Vote Is Safe In 2020 Election

October 22, 2020 | Topic: Criminal

Major collaboration underway to prevent fraud and intimidation

HARRISBURG—The Office of Attorney General (OAG) and the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association (PDAA) today announced collaborative efforts to ensure the integrity of Pennsylvania’s 2020 election. The OAG and district attorneys share joint jurisdiction over election law in Pennsylvania and worked together to develop guidance and resources in preparation for any issues that may arise before, during or after Election Day. Additionally, the Office of Attorney General launched an Election Protection Task Force integrated with local, state and federal law enforcement partners to ensure the election process is free from fraud, intimidation and other violations of the law.

“Law enforcement agencies at all levels have made historic preparations to ensure this election is free from fraud, interference, and intimidation — all of which undermine the bedrock of our Democracy,” said Attorney General Shapiro. “By working together, public officials have made voter fraud in Pennsylvania extremely rare, and we will continue that collaboration to prevent the intimidation of voters anywhere in our Commonwealth. We will not hesitate to use our authority to hold people accountable for violating our Election Code, which gives Pennsylvanians the right to have their vote count and to cast their vote free from intimidation.”

“Free and fair elections are the foundation of our democracy,” said PDAA President and Snyder County District Attorney Michael Piecuch. “This collaboration will help ensure the continuation of a lawful, peaceful process where every vote counts.”

“The right to vote in a free and fair election is the foundation of our democracy,” said Centre County District Attorney Bernie Cantorna. “Citizens can rest assured that our polling places will be open, accessible and ready for you to cast your vote and that you can do so free from intimidation or harassment.”

District Attorney Stefanie Salavantis stated, “The Luzerne County District Attorney’s Office has assembled a team of Assistant District Attorneys and Detectives to immediately investigate any claims of fraud or intimidation. Our office is looking forward to working with Attorney General Shapiro to protect the sanctity of every vote, to ensure that our voters feel safe and secure in exercising their Constitutional rights, and to avoid any appearance that any office has a political motivation in carrying out its duties under the law.”

In conjunction with the announcement, legal guidance was prepared and shared with each District Attorney’s office, who represent the defense against Election Code violations across Pennsylvania’s 67 counties. In addition to the guidance, the Office of Attorney General has launched an Election Protection Task Force that is integrated with local, state and federal law enforcement partners to ensure Pennsylvanians’ right to a free and fair election is protected.

Law enforcement encourages Pennsylvanians to let officials address any concerns, which should be reported to the local Judge of Elections at their polling place and by calling the Department of State’s Hotline at 1-877-VOTESPA (1-877-868-3772). Any activity that has the effect of disrupting voters, or interfering with any voter’s right to vote, inside or outside of the polling place, may be illegal and should be reported to officials.

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