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Law Enforcement, City Officials Prepare for Every Vote to Be Counted on Election Day

PHILADELPHIA (November 7, 2022) – Law enforcement agencies will be working in close coordination to ensure that the November 8th general election in Philadelphia proceeds without interruption, and that city officials are able to immediately respond to dangerous misinformation and threats of political interference or violence.

The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office (DAO) Election Task Force (ETF) is active and will remain active until election results are certified by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. As it does in every election, the ETF will work closely with Philadelphia Police, City Commissioners, and state and federal law enforcement to review and investigate criminal complaints regarding voting and activity at polling locations, and act with urgency on political harassment, intimidation, and threats of violence.

“Elections in Philadelphia are free, fair, and final, but unfortunately there are some anti-democracy, bad faith actors who still haven’t gotten the memo. The DAO Election Task Force and our partners in law enforcement are prepared to respond immediately to reports of threats, harassment, or violence on Election Day and beyond, until results are certified,” District Attorney Larry Krasner said. “Reported criminal incidents related to elections are extremely rare in Philadelphia — in stark contrast with a flood of online misinformation about so-called voting fraud from discredited sources. That said, as election workers here and across the country know, the threat environment with regarding to counting and certifying votes is very real. We are prepared to swiftly respond to and deal with those who would seek to interrupt the democratic process, including with threats of violence.”

“Free and fair elections are the spirit of a healthy democracy and our city, state, and country benefit when everyone makes their voice heard. As we prepare for another major Election Day, we want to assure Philadelphians that all voters will be able to access their polling places and cast their ballots, that no one will be permitted to unlawfully interfere with their right to vote, and all ballots properly cast will be counted,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “The City is working closely with the District Attorney’s Office, City Commissioners, and local, state and federal partners to ensure everyone, regardless of party or beliefs, feels safe casting their ballot tomorrow. I’d also like to reinforce something we stressed in 2020: With tens of thousands of people voting by mail, it will take some time to count all the ballots and so once again, we ask for your patience as we count all the votes.”

“Maintaining open lines of communication – including sharing of intelligence – is a key to election preparedness,” said Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw. “For the PPD, that means coordinating closely with the Delaware Valley Intelligence Center (DVIC), the District Attorney’s Election Task Force, State Police, the FBI, and other federal partners that are gathering security data so we can be ready in advance of any potential efforts to disrupt an orderly and safe election. The Philadelphia Police Department stands ready to assist our fellow stakeholders in ensuring a safe and fair election experience for voters and poll workers on Tuesday.”

More than 50 Assistant District Attorneys (ADAs) and DAO Detectives will be working with City Commissioners and law enforcement to investigate reported violations of the Pennsylvania Election Code and other criminal activity at polling locations. Election Task Force members will be assigned with Philadelphia Police, the FBI, and other law enforcement partners throughout the city.

The DAO Election Task Force hotline, 215–686–9641, will be open for members of the public to report issues related to voting that occur outside of the polling place. To report complaints about issues inside of a polling place, call the County Board of Elections at 215-686-1590.

City Commissioners Chair Lisa Deeley said, “We encourage all Philadelphians to exercise your precious right to vote. You have until 8:00 pm on Tuesday to vote in person at a polling location or to drop off your mail-in ballot at any of the secure mail-in ballot boxes or ballot drop-off locations throughout the city. Please do not miss this incredible opportunity; make a plan to vote by 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday.”

“This is the most important election of our lifetime. Please exercise your right to VOTE! Make a plan! Take your friends and family with you. Grab you neighbors and go together. Remember: the more you vote , the more you get!” said City Commissioners Vice Chair Omar Sabir.

“Harassment and intimidation of county election workers is not acceptable. We urge candidates and parties to be responsible in their rhetoric and treat election workers with respect,” said Al Schmidt, President and CEO of Committee of Seventy and former City Commissioner.

“The Election Task Force is prepared to once again work closely with our law enforcement partners to ensure a safe and free election day,” ETF Supervisor ADA Brian Collins said. “We are grateful to staff and volunteers who do the incredibly important work of operating polling locations, guiding voters through the process, and making sure every registered voter in Philadelphia can exercise their right to democratically choose their leaders. Every vote cast by an eligible voter in accordance with state and federal election law must be counted, and will be counted, in the City of Philadelphia.”

Members of the public are also encouraged to report problems related to voting to the national nonpartisan Election Protection hotline, 866-OUR-VOTE.

CONTACT:Jane Roh, 215-686-8711, [email protected]

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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 the prosecution of approximately 40,000 criminal cases annually. Learn more about the DAO by visiting PhillyDA.org.