WASHINGTON – The Justice Department announced that it will monitor the federal and state primary and local general elections for Shelby County (Memphis), Tennessee, on August 3, 2006.
Justice Department personnel will watch and record activities during voting hours at various polling locations in the city to ensure compliance with the Voting Rights Act. A Civil Rights Division attorney 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 departmental staff, to monitor elections across the country. In 2004, a record 1,463 federal observers and 533 Department personnel were sent to monitor 163 elections in 105 jurisdictions in 29 states. Last year for off-year elections there were 640 federal observers and 191 Department personnel sent to monitor 47 elections in 36 jurisdictions in 14 states.
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.
In addition, voters may call the office of the United States Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee concerning complaints of discriminatory voting practices, acts of harassment, or voter intimidation at 901-544-4231.
More information about the Voting Rights Act and other federal voting laws is available on the Department of Justice web site at www.usdoj.gov/crt/voting/index.htm.