By: Susan Jones
November 4, 2014
(CNSNews.com) – Staffers from the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division will monitor polling places in 28 jurisdictions in 18 states today, to make sure there’s no attempt to prevent minorities, the disabled, the illiterate and non-English-speakers from voting.
In the general election in 2012, federal monitors watched the polls in 51 jurisdictions in 23 states; and in the 2010 midterm, federal observers fanned out to 30 jurisdictions in 18 states.
Although state and local governments administer elections, the Civil Rights Division is charged with enforcing the federal voting rights laws that protect the rights of all eligible citizens to cast ballots on Election Day, the Justice Department announced on Monday.
Federal monitors specifically want to see if voters are subject to different ballot procedures based on race, color or the language they speak; whether jurisdictions are complying with the minority language provisions of the Voting Rights Act; whether jurisdictions permit voters to receive assistance by a person of his or her choice if the voter is blind, has a disability, or is unable to read or write; whether jurisdictions allow voters with disabilities to cast a private and independent ballot; whether jurisdictions comply with voter registration requirements of the National Voter Registration Act; and whether jurisdictions comply with the provisional ballot requirements of the Help America Vote Act.
The 28 jurisdictions with in-person poll monitors on Nov. 4 include four in Florida (Duval, Hillsborough, Lee and Orange Counties); three in Ohio (Cuyahoga, Hamilton, and Lorain Counties); two in California (Alameda and Napa Counties); two in Georgia (Fulton and Gwinnett Counties); two in Nebraska (Colfax and Douglas Counties); two in South Dakota (Charles Mix and Shannon Counties); two in Texas (Harris and Waller Counties); and one each in Arizona (Maricopa County), Illinois (Chicago), Kansas (Finney County), North Carolina (Robeson County), New Jersey (Bergen County), New Mexico (Cibola County), New York (Orange County), Pennsylvania (Lehigh County), South Carolina (Richland County), Tennessee (Shelby County), and Wisconsin (Milwaukee).
The Justice Department reminds Americans that allegations of election fraud are handled by the nation’s 94 U.S. attorneys’ offices and the FBI. The announcement includes a list of their telephone numbers.
Threats of violence or intimidation at the polls should be reported to local police by dialing 911.
Civil Rights Division staffers also will be available by telephone to collect complaints form citizens in all states and jurisdictions at 1-800-253-3931 or 202-307-2767; or TTY 202-305-0082. Complaints may also be submitted on the Justice Department’s website at www.justice.gov/crt/about/vot/.
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