Justice News

Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, May 7, 2010
Justice Department to Monitor Elections in Texas

WASHINGTON – The Justice Department announced today that it will monitor municipal elections on May 8, 2010, in Dallas and Galveston Counties, Texas, to ensure compliance with the requirements of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

The 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, including Dallas and Galveston Counties, to provide language assistance in Spanish during the election process.  Galveston County is also subject to a court order entered in 2007 that requires the jurisdiction to comply with the minority language requirements of the Voting Rights Act.

Under the Voting Rights Act, the Justice Department is authorized to ask the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to send federal observers to areas that are specially covered in the act itself or by a federal court order.   Federal observers will be assigned to monitor polling place activities in these counties based on the attorney general’s certification.  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.

Each year, the Justice Department deploys hundreds of federal observers from OPM, 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.usdoj.gov/crt/voting/index.htm for more information about the Voting Rights Act and other federal voting laws.

 

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