WASHINGTON—The Justice Department today announced that it will monitor the May 23, 2006 primary election in Pulaski County, Ark.
The Department will monitor voting procedures in polling places and in the Clerk's office to ensure compliance with federal law. The Department has authority to monitor the elections pursuant to a consent decree entered on April 19, 2004, in U.S. v. Pulaski County, et al., to resolve the Department's allegations that the county had violated the National Voter Registration Act (“NVRA”).
The consent decree requires county officials to develop and implement uniform and nondiscriminatory rules and policies governing the maintenance of an accurate and current voter registration roll for elections for federal office, as well as ensure that eligible applicants be registered to vote in a timely and effective manner.
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. In 2002, the last comparable year in the four year election cycle, there were 608 federal observers and 221 Department personnel deployed to 60 elections in 40 jurisdictions in 17 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 voting practices in this election, voters may call the Voting Section of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division at 1-800-253-3931.
More information about the NVRA and other federal voting laws is available on the Department of Justice Web site at http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/voting.