NEWS

Justice Department Announces Efforts to Secure the Voting Process

By Carlton Purvis

The Justice Department has announced that it will implement its usual efforts on Election Day to make sure voters aren’t intimidated at the polls and their votes are counted accurately.

On November 6, the Civil Rights Division, the section of the Justice Department responsible for enforcing civil provisions of federal laws that protect voters from discriminatory interference and intimidation on the basis of race, color, national origin, or religion, will implement a program to make sure people aren’t being obstructed from casting their votes, the department announced by press release on Tuesday. The Criminal Division will enforce laws that prohibit vote buying, fraudulent ballots, alteration of votes, destruction of ballots, and malfeasance by election officials. The program will place monitors in certain jurisdictions and set up teams to respond to complaints from voters.

Monitors are put in polling places by request or by court order in places where “it is likely that minority voters will not be allowed to cast a ballot without interference.” A few days before the election, the Justice Department will release a list of jurisdictions where federal personnel will be stationed as monitors, a Justice Department spokeswoman said by phone on Wednesday. Around a dozen subdivisions in eight states are already under court order.

The federally appointed observers will monitor procedures at polling places and provide reports to the Voting Section of the Justice Department.

Agents from the FBI’s 56 field offices and staff from the U.S. Attorneys’ Office will serve as Election Crime Coordinators and will be available by phone and e-mail during the election to receive complaints before, during, and after election day.

To file complaints to the Civil Rights Division about ballot access call: 1-800-253-3931, e-mail voting.section@usdoj.gov, or fill out the online form at www.justice.gov/crt/about/vot/. 

Election fraud or intimidation complaints can be directed to Public Integrity Section at 202-514-1412.

Read more about securing the voting process in our October cover story “Machine Politics.


photo by Muffet/flickr

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