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Protecting the Right to Vote

Assistant Attorney General Thomas E. Perez today spoke to the National Association of State Election Directors (NASED) and the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) about the Civil Rights Division’s efforts to protect voting rights. Both groups, which are made up of Secretaries of State and Election Officials from the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, were in Washington for their 2011 winter conferences. Assistant Attorney General Perez spoke about the Department’s efforts to protect voters during the 2010 election cycle, including enforcement of the 2009 Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment (MOVE) Act. He also discussed other areas of the Division’s voting rights work, including preparation for the decennial redistricting process. The Assistant Attorney General told both audiences that the Civil Rights Division is dedicated to enforcing all of the civil rights laws in its jurisdiction in a swift, aggressive and evenhanded manner. Earlier this week, Assistant Attorney General Perez delivered remarks at the Overseas Vote Foundation’s fifth annual Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act Summit in Washington, D.C. He spoke specifically about the Department’s efforts to enforce the MOVE Act. In the months leading up to the 2010 general election in November, the Department monitored every state for compliance with the MOVE Act, and took enforcement actions in 14 jurisdictions, including 11 states, 2 territories and the District of Columbia. Assistant Attorney General Perez also addressed the National Association of Latino Elected Officials (NALEO) Institute on Redistricting earlier this week. NALEO is a non-partisan leadership organization made up of more than 6,000 Latino elected and appointed officials from across the country. He spoke about the redistricting process that follows each decennial Census and the Department’s efforts to prepare for the 2011 round of redistricting. Assistant Attorney General Perez said:
“The Civil Rights Division’s interest is simple: that the redistricting does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, or membership in a protected language minority group.”
The Division’s 2011 guidance on redistricting and Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act was published on Wednesday.
Updated April 7, 2017