- What federal voting rights laws does the Civil Rights Division enforce?
- How can I make a complaint regarding possible violations of the federal voting rights laws?
- How do I ask the Civil Rights Division to monitor an election?
- What responsibilites does the Justice Department have with regard to voters with disabilities?
- What responsibilities does the Justice Department have with regard to intimidation?
- What responsibilities does the Justice Department have with regard to voter fraud?
- National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) - Questions and Answers about Sections 5, 6, 7, and 8
The Voting Rights Act of 1965 (VRA), is codified at 52 U.S.C. 10301 to 10702 (formerly 42 U.S.C. 1973 to 1973bb-1). The VRA includes a number of key protections of the right to vote, including a nationwide prohibition against voting practices that discriminate on the basis of race, color or membership in a language minority group, protections for voters who need assistance in voting by reason of blindness, disability or inability to read or write, and a requirement that certain jurisdictions provide bilingual written voting materials and voting assistance in covered minority languages, in addition to English.
The Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act of 1986 (UOCAVA), is codified at 52 U.S.C. 20301 to 20311 (formerly 42 U.S.C. 1973ff to 1973ff-7). UOCAVA requires that states and territories allow members of the uniformed services serving away from home, their family members, and U.S. citizens who are residing outside the country to register and vote absentee in federal elections.
The National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (NVRA), is codified at 52 U.S.C. 20501 to 20511 (42 U.S.C. 1973gg to 1973gg-10). The NVRA requires states to make voter registration opportunities for federal elections available through the mail and when people apply for or receive a driver's license, public assistance, disability services or other government services. The NVRA also provides rules regarding maintenance of voter registration lists for federal elections.
The Voting Accessibility for the Elderly and Handicapped Act of 1984 (VAEHA), is codified at 52 U.S.C. 20101 to 20107 (formerly 42 U.S.C. 1973ee to 1973ee-6). VAEHA requires states to take certain steps to make the voting process for federal elections accessible to voters with disabilities and voters who are elderly.
The Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA) is codified at 52 U.S.C. 20901 to 21145 (formerly 42 U.S.C. 15301 to 15545). HAVA establishes minimum standards for states to follow in several key aspects of election administration in federal elections, including voting systems, voter registration databases, and provisional ballots.
The Civil Rights Acts are codified at 52 U.S.C. 10101 & 20701 (formerly 42 U.S.C. 1971 & 1974). These Acts provide some of the early federal statutory protections against discrimination in voting. Certain of these protections originated in the Civil Rights Act of 1870, and were later amended by the Civil Rights Acts of 1957, 1960 and 1964.
We encourage anyone with a complaint about possible violations of the federal voting rights laws to contact the Civil Rights Division. There are no special forms to use or procedures to follow--just call us toll-free at (800) 253-3931, or write to us.
You can contact the Civil Rights Division to request monitoring of an election. Please describe when and where the election is being conducted and the possible violations of the federal voting rights laws that are of concern.
The Civil Rights Division enforces a number of federal laws that protect voters with disabilities.
The Voting Section enforces various federal law protections for voters with disabilities. This includes the VRA’s protections for voters who need assistance in voting by reason of blindness, disability or inability to read or write, the NVRA’s requirement that states make available the opportunity to register to vote in federal elections through offices that provide state funded programs that are primarily engaged in providing services to persons with disabilities, and HAVA’s requirement that jurisdictions responsible for conducting federal elections provide at least one accessible voting system for persons with disabilities at each polling place in federal elections.
The Disability Rights Section also enforces various federal law protections for voters with disabilities. This includes Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which ensures that persons with disabilities have a full and equal opportunity to vote. The ADA’s provisions apply to all aspects of voting, including voter registration, the accessibility of poll sites and the casting of ballots.
We encourage anyone with a complaint about possible violations of the federal laws that protect voters with disabilities to contact the Civil Rights Division.
In cases where intimidation, coercion, or threats are made or attempts to intimidate, threaten or coerce are made to any person for voting or attempting to vote, the Department of Justice can consider whether there is federal jurisdiction to bring civil claims or criminal charges under federal law. Depending on the nature of the allegations, they may fall into the jurisdiction of different parts of the Department. If you have information about allegations of intimidation, please contact us.
If you have information about voter fraud in federal elections, please contact the nearest office of the FBI or your local U.S. Attorney's office or the Public Integrity Section of the Criminal Division.
Questions and Answers about Sections 5, 6, 7, and 8.