U.S. Justice Department to monitor election in Maricopa, Pima Counties

Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

On Friday, the U.S. Department of Justice announced
that its Civil Rights Division will be deploying "more than 780 federal
observers and department personnel to 51 jurisdictions in 23 states for
the Nov. 6, 2012, general election."

This will include Maricopa County and Pima County in Arizona.

From the news release:

Department of Justice

Office of Public Affairs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Friday, November 2, 2012

Justice Department to Monitor Polls in 23 States on Election Day

The Justice Department announced today that its Civil Rights Division
plans to deploy more than 780 federal observers and department
personnel to 51 jurisdictions in 23 states for the Nov. 6, 2012, general
election.

Although state and local governments have primary responsibility for
administering elections, the Civil Rights Division is charged with
enforcing the federal voting rights laws that protect the rights of all
citizens to access the ballot on Election Day.

In the days leading up to and throughout Election Day, Civil Rights
Division staff members will be available by telephone to receive
complaints related to possible violations of the federal voting rights
laws (toll free 1-800-253-3931 or 202-307-2767 or TTY 1-877-267-8971).
In addition, individuals may also report such complaints by fax to
202-307-3961, by email to voting.section@usdoj.gov and by a complaint form on the department's website : www.justice.gov/crt/about/vot/.

Allegations of election fraud are handled by the 94 U.S. Attorneys'
Offices across the country and the Criminal Division's Public Integrity
Section. Complaints may be directed to any of the local U.S. Attorneys'
Offices, the local FBI offices or the Public Integrity Section at
202-514-1412.

Since the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the department
has regularly sent observers and monitors around the country to protect
the rights of voters. The Voting Rights Act prohibits discrimination
in the election process on the basis of race, color or membership in a
minority language group. In addition, the act requires certain covered
jurisdictions to provide language assistance during the election
process. Under the Voting Rights Act, the department is authorized to
ask the Office of Personnel Management to send federal observers to
areas that have been certified for coverage by a federal court or the
attorney general. The department also may send its own staff to monitor
elections in other jurisdictions.

* * *

The observers and department personnel will gather information on,
among other things, whether voters are subject to different voting
qualifications or procedures on the basis of race, color, or membership
in a language minority group; 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 the
voter registration list requirements of the National Voter Registration
Act; and whether jurisdictions comply with the provisional ballot
requirements of the Help America Vote Act. To assist in these
inquiries, the department has deployed observers and monitors who speak
Spanish and a variety of Asian and Native American languages. Both the
federal observers and department personnel will coordinate monitoring
activities, and department attorneys maintain contact with local
election officials.

Last month, the Justice Department announced
efforts to ensure that all qualified voters have the opportunity to
cast their ballots and have their votes counted free of discrimination,
intimidation or fraud in the election process. More information about
the Voting Rights Act and other federal voting and election-related laws
is available on the Civil Rights Division's web site at www.usdoj.gov/crt/voting.

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