– The Miami Herald has provided a printed copy of the letter that WWE received from the US Justice Department concerning their announcement that free WWE merchandise would be given away near the polls in Connecticut today.
Here it is:
U.S. Department of Justice
Public Integrity Section
Washington D.C. 20530
November 1, 2010
BY ELECTRONIC MAIL
Jerry S. McDevitt, Esq
K&L Gates Center
210 Sixth Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15222-2613
Dear Mr. McDevitt:
Re: World Wrestling Entertainment
The Department of Justice has recently received information that your client, World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), might be providing or planning to provide free merchandise to voters at polling places. However, the available information also indicates that if this practice is actually planned or occurring, it is open and notorious. Accordingly, this letter is to advise you that WWE might be operating in ignorance of applicable federal criminal law, and to notify you of that law.
Specifically, Section 1973i(c) of Title 42 of the United States Code makes it a federal offense to pay or offer to pay an individual a thing of value for voting. Violation of Section 1973i(c) is punishable by imprisonment for up to five years and a fine not to exceed $250,000. Please note the Department’s understanding that this statute prohibits a person from providing a thing of value — such as clothing — in return for an individual’s participation in the voting process.
Thank you for your attention to this matter.
Richard C. Pilger
Election Crimes Branch
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