#VerifyVotes: Voter fraud, Clinton-related emails

#VerifyVotes: Political issues in presidential race.

BOISE - A week away from Election Day, and the nation is debating one political firestorm after another in the fight for the presidency.

From the F.B.I. looking into newly-discovered emails relating to Hillary Clinton, to Donald Trump's claims that there will be widespread voter fraud, Americans are seeing a lot of issues play out on the national stage.

Back here at home, KTVB's Morgan Boydston spent the day Tuesday asking political experts the questions you are asking before voting on November 8.

With early voting already under way, many voters have been wanting to verify the latest information coming out.

KTVB spoke with a University of Idaho College of Law professor to verify what we know about emails relating to Clinton's longtime aide, Huma Abedin.

MOREThe Case That Hillary Clinton Can't Shake: A History of the Email Controversy

Meanwhile, Republican nominee Donald Trump said last week that the election is "rigged" and many Americans are now talking about voter fraud at the polls.

MOREDonald Trump's 'Rigged Election' Claims Raise Historical Alarms

To make sure things like voter fraud or voter interference don't happen and that your rights are protected in this democracy, the U.S. Attorney's Office and both major political parties in Idaho have Election Day plans in place.

"In Idaho every political party and/or candidate can sign up to have poll watchers at the poll," Idaho Democratic Party Executive Director Sally Boynton Brown told KTVB.

Ensuring free and fair elections, hundreds of Democratic and Republican poll watchers are assigned to different voting precincts across the state on Election Day.

"They're just there to observe the process. They can't talk, they can't have conversations with voters, they don't have conversations with poll workers," Boynton Brown added.

"They're also there to make sure everyone feels welcome and everyone has access to the polling station," Idaho Republican Party Executive Director David Johnston said.

Poll watchers make sure people can vote without harassment, interference, or discrimination, and that there is no fraud going on. Both parties say those things don't happen often, but they don't want them happening at all.

However, if any instances do occur, poll watchers will notify the party and their attorneys standing by.

"We evaluate it, we review it, we consult with our attorneys and then we pass it along, if need to be, to the appropriate authorities like the Secretary of State's office," Johnston added.

The Democrats set up a social media campaign so voters can report any instances they might see, using #IDVOPRO. You can call their offices or the GOP offices to report anything, as well.

United States Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced that Assistants United States Attorney (AUSAS) Jack Haycock, Ray Patricco and Nancy Cook will lead the efforts of her office in connection with the Justice Department's nationwide Election Day Program for the upcoming general election.

The AUSAS are responsible for overseeing the district's handling of complaints of election fraud and voting rights abuses in consultation with Justice Department Headquarters in Washington.

"Every citizen must be able to vote without interference or discrimination and to have that vote counted," United States Attorney Olson said in a press release. "The Department of Justice will act promptly and aggressively to protect the integrity of the election process."

Olson's office says the department's long-standing Election Day Program seeks to ensure public confidence in the integrity of the election process by providing local points of contact for the public to report possible election fraud and voting rights violations at the polls.

"The franchise is the cornerstone of American Democracy," Olson said. "We all must ensure that those who are entitled to the franchise exercise it if they choose, and that those who seek to corrupt it are brought to justice."

AUSAS Haycock, Patricco and Cook will be on duty while the polls are open and can be reached at the following telephone numbers:

(208) 251-0589 in Pocatello for AUSA Haycock; (208) 334-9118 in Boise for AUSA Patricco; or (208) 676-7346 in Coeur d'Alene for AUSA Cook. 

"Ensuring free and fair elections depends in large part on the cooperation of the American electorate," Olson said in the release. "It is imperative that those who have specific information about discrimination or election fraud make that information available immediately to my office, the FBI , or the Civil Rights Division."

Another issue that many people are talking about with just a week left until Election Day: FBI Director James Comey shocking the country after sending a letter to congressional leaders saying FBI agents found additional emails related to the investigation into whether Hillary Clinton jeopardized national security by using a private email server.

"It's really impossible to figure out what effect this is going to have on the election," University of Idaho College of Law Associate Professor Shaakirrah Sanders said. "We don't know if they're new emails, if they're duplicate emails. We don't even really know how it came to be that these emails were apart of the investigation of someone else's alleged criminal behavior."

Those emails were on a computer used by Clinton's top aide Huma Abedin and her estranged husband and former congressman Anthony Weiner. The emails were found while the FBI was investigating Weiner for sexting an under-aged girl.

Sanders says the FBI may not release their findings before Election Day.

"It certainly has to raise the anxiety levels for those undecided voters," Sanders added. "How about one more mystery to make this election cycle that much more dramatic."

We want to hear from you on social media about the election: if you have any questions or comments for us, use #VerifyVotes on Facebook or Twitter.

Copyright 2016 KTVB


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