WASHINGTON - The Justice Department today announced that on Oct. 7, 2008, it will monitor the municipal election in the town of Bayou La Batre, Ala., to ensure compliance with the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Justice Department personnel will watch and record activities during voting hours at the polling location in the town. Civil Rights Division attorneys will coordinate the federal activities and maintain contact with local election officials.
Each year, the Justice Department deploys hundreds of federal observers from the Office of Personnel Management, as well as Department staff, to monitor elections across the country. During calendar year 2008 (through September 30th), 397 federal observers and 158 Department personnel have been sent to monitor 51 elections in 47 jurisdictions in 17 states. For the 2008 elections, the Civil Rights Division will implement a comprehensive Election Day program to help ensure ballot access. As in previous years, the Civil Rights Division will coordinate the deployment of hundreds of federal government employees in counties, cities and towns across the country to ensure access to the polls as required by our nation’s civil rights laws.
To file complaints about discriminatory voting practices, including acts of harassment or intimidation, voters may call the Voting Section of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division at 1-800-253-3931.
More information about the Voting Rights Act and other federal voting laws is available on the Department of Justice Web site at http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/voting/index.htm.