PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The Philadelphia District Attorney's Office launched its Election Day task force Wednesday, four weeks before the election, to respond to voter complaints at the election board's satellite offices. The office is especially concerned about voter intimidation.
DA Larry Krasner said assistant prosecutors enthusiastically volunteered to staff the hotline — normally a one-day commitment — from now until Nov. 3. He expanded the operation in response to new challenges.
“Early locations where people can vote, mail-in ballots and, of course, extremists who are making some extreme comments, which is why we have prepared so well,” Krasner said.
Krasner was joined for the announcement by the City Commissioner Omar Sabir, who sought to reassure voters that both mail-in and in-person voting will be safe and counted.
“You cannot listen to misinformation. Now is the time to express ourselves. We get more resources and more accountability if we vote,” Sabir said.
Concerns about voters being scared off by fears for their ballot's and their own security have been heightened since last week's presidential debate, when President Donald Trump called on supporters to show up at polling places and specifically mentioned Philadelphia.
Krasner emphasized that voter intimidation is a third-class felony in Pennsylvania, punishable by seven years in prison.
“And we will be very, very, very clear if they try to do it that it is not OK. I must tell you though, I don't even think they're going to try and that is a wonderful thing,” he said.
The hotline is 215-686-9641, and the national hotline is 866- our-vote.