FOCUS ON ELECTION CRIME
New Initiative Announced
FBI exec James "Chip" Burrus
and Assistant Attorney General Alice
Fisher, in front of a map showing recent
examples of successfully prosecuted
campaign finance cases.
top Criminal Investigative exec James "Chip"
Burrus joined Assistant Attorney General Alice
Fisher in Washington on Thursday in announcing
the launch of a new initiative targeting campaign
finance and ballot fraud. We spoke with Burrus
about the importance of the new effort and
what it entails.
Why the emphasis on these crimes now?
Two main reasons. First, rooting out corruption
in our systems of government is the FBI's
top criminal investigative priority. Those
systems start with the right to vote. As the
November elections draw closer, we want the
public to know that violations of election
law will not be tolerated. Second, we're seeing
a spike in these kinds of crime. During the
2004 presidential election year alone, we
opened more cases than the previous four years
combined. We're seeing all types of schemes—double
voting, voter intimidation, ballot box stuffing,
voting in someone else's name, using false
corporate invoices to conceal the actual source
of a campaign contribution. We've had great
success investigating these crimes in the
past, but the majority of those investigations
were reactive in nature. Now, we're going
to be more proactive.
By getting ready now before the election season
begins. Today, we have at least one agent—an
Election Crime Coordinator—in each of
our 56 field offices who has had specialized
training in handling complaints and investigating
election crimes. Each of our offices is fully
prepared to identify, initiate, and successfully
investigate a wide variety of election crime
violations. Also, our intelligence analysts
are actively working to map out crime patterns
Why should Americans be concerned about these
Americans have a right to expect fair, open,
and honest elections—it's a cornerstone
of our democracy. A confident public is more
likely to vote, trust the outcome of the election,
and know that their vote made a difference.
The FBI is ready, willing, and able to investigate
these crimes. But we need the public's help.
Call your local
FBI office if you know about an election
crime. If you don't want to give your name,
leave an anonymous tip.
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