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Copyright (c) 2013 American Criminal Law Review
American Criminal Law Review

ARTICLE: ELECTION LAW VIOLATIONS

Fall, 2013

American Criminal Law Review

50 Am. Crim. L. Rev. 765

Author

HENRY BREWSTER, GRANT DUBLER and PETER KLYM

Excerpt

I. INTRODUCTION

Congress has the power to enact statutes to prevent and punish federal election law violations by public officials, candidates, and other political actors. 1 Statutes discussed in this Article may contain overlapping civil, criminal, and administrative penalty provisions. For instance, the Federal Election Commission ("FEC") has jurisdiction to levy civil fines for all violations of the Federal Election Campaign Act ("FECA"), 2 including those committed "knowingly and willfully." 3 However, only the Department of Justice ("DOJ"), by and through Assistant United States Attorneys in the field, and the Public Integrity Section in Washington, D.C., may prosecute criminal FECA offenses. 4 Moreover, enforcement of some statutes mentioned in this Article, including election fraud offenses in federal races, is solely within the jurisdiction of the DOJ. 5 This Article focuses on conduct deemed criminal by Congress and prosecutable by the DOJ.

Election law issues pertaining to how federal campaigns are financed, and who finances them, have recently gained a high profile due to several landmark judicial decisions. 6 Section II discusses these recent opinions and explores campaign finance crimes in general.

Election fraud involves "substantive irregularit[ies] relating to the voting act--such as bribery, intimidation, or forgery--which ha[ve] the potential to taint the election itself." 7 Section III of this Article examines election fraud offenses. 8

II. CAMPAIGN FINANCE CRIMES

A. Introduction

Campaign finance laws seek to regulate the influence of money on the political process by placing limitations on who may contribute, how much may ...
 
 
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