Justice News

Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, November 3, 2014

Justice Department Announces On-the-Ground Monitoring at Polling Places in 18 States on Election Day

The Justice Department announced today that its Civil Rights Division plans to conduct in-person monitoring of polling place activities in 28 jurisdictions in 18 states for the Nov. 4, 2014, general election.  The Attorney General also released a video on election monitors today.

Although state and local governments have primary responsibility for administering elections, the Civil Rights Division is charged with enforcing the federal voting rights laws that protect the rights of all eligible citizens to cast ballots on Election Day.

In the days leading up to and throughout Election Day, Civil Rights Division staff members will also be available by telephone to receive complaints from citizens in all states and jurisdictions nationwide related to possible violations of the federal voting rights laws (toll free 1-800-253-3931 or 202-307-2767) or TTY (202-305-0082).  In addition, individuals may also report such complaints by fax to 202-307-3961, by email to voting.section@usdoj.gov and by a complaint form on the department’s website: www.justice.gov/crt/about/vot/.  

Allegations of election fraud are handled by the 94 U.S. Attorneys’ Offices across the country, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section.  Complaints related to election fraud may be directed to your local U.S. Attorneys’ Offices or local FBI offices, which consult with the Public Integrity Section in Washington, D.C.  A list of U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and their telephone numbers can be found at http://www.justice.gov/usao/districts/.  A list of FBI offices and accompanying telephone numbers can be found at www.fbi.gov/contact-us.  

As always, complaints related to violence, threats of violence, or intimidation at a polling place should always be reported immediately to local police authorities by calling 911.  They should also be reported to the department after local authorities have been contacted.

Since the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the department has regularly monitored elections in the field in jurisdictions around the country to protect the rights of voters.  The Voting Rights 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 jurisdictions to provide language assistance during the election process. 

On Nov. 4, 2014, the department will monitor polling place activities on the ground in 28 jurisdictions:

  • Maricopa County, Arizona;

  • Alameda County, California;

  • Napa County, California;

  • Duval County, Florida;

  • Hillsborough County, Florida;

  • Lee County, Florida;

  • Orange County, Florida;

  • Fulton County, Georgia;

  • Gwinnett County, Georgia;

  • Chicago, Illinois;

  • Finney County, Kansas;

  • Robeson County, North Carolina;

  • Colfax County, Nebraska;

  • Douglas County, Nebraska;

  • Bergen County, New Jersey;

  • Cibola County, New Mexico;

  • Orange County, New York;

  • Cuyahoga County, Ohio;

  • Hamilton County, Ohio;

  • Lorain County, Ohio;

  • Lehigh County, Pennsylvania;

  • Richland County, South Carolina;

  • Charles Mix County, South Dakota;

  • Shannon County; South Dakota;

  • Shelby County, Tennessee;

  • Harris County, Texas;

  • Waller County, Texas; and

  • Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

The department’s monitoring will gather information on, among other things, whether voters are subject to different voting qualifications or procedures on the basis of race, color, or membership in a language minority group; whether jurisdictions are complying with the minority language provisions of the Voting Rights Act; whether jurisdictions permit voters to receive assistance by a person of his or her choice if the voter is blind, has a disability, or is unable to read or write; whether jurisdictions allow voters with disabilities to cast a private and independent ballot; whether jurisdictions comply with the voter registration list requirements of the National Voter Registration Act; and whether jurisdictions comply with the provisional ballot requirements of the Help America Vote Act.  Department personnel also will maintain contact with local election officials.

More information about the Voting Rights Act and other federal voting and election-related laws is available on the Civil Rights Division’s web site at www.justice.gov/crt/about/vot/.  

14-1223
Updated August 28, 2015