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Department of Justice
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, June 1, 2009
Justice Department to Monitor Elections in Mississippi, New Jersey and South Dakota

On June 2, 2009, the Department of Justice will monitor elections in the following jurisdictions to ensure compliance with the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and other federal voting rights statutes: the towns of Como, Drew, Greenwood, Isola, Louise and Meridian, Miss.; Bergen County, Middlesex County and the borough of Penns Grove, N.J.; and the town of Martin, S.D.

Under the Voting Rights Act, the Justice Department is authorized to ask the U.S. Office of Personnel Management to send federal observers to areas that are specially covered in the act or by a federal court order. Federal observers will be assigned based on the special coverage provisions to monitor polling place activities in Drew, Greenwood, Isola and Louise, Miss.. In addition, federal observers will be assigned to monitor polling place activities in Penns Grove, N.J., according to a federal court order entered in 2008. The observers will watch and record activities during voting hours at polling locations in these jurisdictions and Civil Rights Division attorneys will coordinate the federal activities and maintain contact with local election officials. In addition, Justice Department personnel will monitor elections in the towns of Como and Meridian, Miss.; Bergen and Middlesex Counties, N.J.; and the town of Martin, S.D., for compliance with the Voting Rights Act.

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 calendar year 2008, for example, 1,060 federal observers and 344 Department personnel were sent to monitor 114 elections in 76 jurisdictions in 24 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.

Visit http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/voting/index.htm for more information about the Voting Rights Act and other federal voting laws.

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