Nov. 1, 2002 Assistant U.S. Attorney Alphonso Andrews was appointed by U.S. Attorney David Nissman to serve as District Election Officer for the Virgin Islands.
According to a press release from the U.S. Justice Department, similar appointments are made across the country to ensure public confidence in the election process by protecting voting rights. The officer also prosecutes election crime.
"Election fraud dilutes the worth of votes honestly cast. It also corrupts the essence of our representative form of government," Nissman said.
He said that detecting election fraud depends of the watchfulness and cooperation of the electorate.
Andrews, who was appointed Oct. 8, will hold the post for two years.
He will supervise a team of assistant U.S. attorneys and FBI special agents who will be on duty during the Nov. 5 election day.
However, Andrews' jurisdiction extends only to the election of the territory's delegate to Congress. Complaints about problems with electing local officials are the responsibility of the V.I. Elections Board.
Nissman said that most forms of election crime are easily identified. They include voter bribery, voter intimidation and ballot forgery. Other more subtle forms include influencing elderly, socially disadvantaged or illiterate people.
To report election fraud, reach Andrews at 773-3920 and the FBI at 777-3363.
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