WASHINGTON - The Justice Department today announced that on Dec. 9, 2006, it will monitor the congressional runoff election in New Orleans, La., to ensure compliance with the Voting Rights Act.
The Department monitors will watch and record activities during voting hours at polling locations in the city. 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. This compares to the 640 federal observers and 103 Department personnel deployed in 2000. On Nov. 7, 2006, the Department deployed an unprecedented number of federal personnel to monitor the midterm election, sending more that 500 federal observers and more than 350 Justice Department personnel to 69 jurisdictions in 22 states – more than double the total sent on Election Day in 2002 – the previous record for a midterm election.
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.
More information about the Voting Rights Act and other federal voting laws is available on the Department of Justice Web site at http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/voting/index.htm.