WASHINGTON - The Justice Department today announced that on Jan. 15, 2008, it will monitor a special election in Jefferson Davis County, Miss., to ensure compliance with the Voting Rights Act.
Justice Department personnel will watch and record activities during voting hours at polling locations in the county to ensure that the right of voters to participate in the election is not infringed on account of their race. 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. During calendar year 2004, a record 1,463 federal observers and 533 Department personnel were sent to monitor 163 elections in 106 jurisdictions in 29 states. This compares to the 640 federal observers and 110 Department personnel deployed during the entire 2000 presidential calendar year.
To file complaints about discriminatory voting practices, including acts of harassment or intimidation, voters may call the Voting Section of the Justice Departmentís 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.