The Justice Department announced today that the Civil Rights Division will monitor elections on Feb. 26, 2013, in Cook County, Ill., and Seward County, Kan. The monitoring will ensure compliance with the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and other federal voting rights statutes. 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. Cook County is required to provide language assistance to its Hispanic, Chinese and Asian Indian voters, and Seward County is required to provide language assistance to its Hispanic voters.
Justice Department personnel will monitor polling place activities in Cook and Seward Counties. Civil Rights Division attorneys will coordinate 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. 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.
Visit www.justice.gov/crt/voting/index.php for more information about the Voting Rights Act and other federal voting laws.