DOJ sends voting rights monitors, observers to 23 states
November 2nd, 2012
02:54 PM ET
2 years ago

DOJ sends voting rights monitors, observers to 23 states

Washington (CNN) - The Justice Department Friday announced that it is dispatching more than 780 federal observers and monitors to 23 states to watch for potential problems which would violate voting rights protected by federal law.

The Justice Department said it was sending observers to 51 jurisdictions in those states to help enforce federal voting rights laws which protect ballot access.

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In addition to concern about discrimination based on languages and ethnicity, the federal officials will be ensuring voters with disabilities are accommodated, and ensuring that no procedures are used to subject voters to different procedures on the basis of race, color or national origin.

Many of the locations being targeted for the 2012 general election have appeared on similar lists for past elections. Justice officials say the federal monitors will maintain low profile positions, and will not be involved in the voting process unless problems arise.

The total of 780 officials is about the same size as the contingent sent to watch the 2008 presidential election.

Jon Greenbaum, Chief Counsel for the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, says his organization is generally pleased with the locations selected for federal monitoring. The organization successfully pushed, for example, for monitors to be sent to Maricopa County, Arizona because of potential problems for Hispanic voters, and the group noted potential for discrimination against black voters in Alabama and Mississippi counties.

Historic incidents of discrimination against Native American voters prompted observers to be sent to Shannon County, South Dakota, and Sandoval County, New Mexico, Greenbaum said. In Chicago, several ethnic minorities have suffered incidents in the past, including lack of poll workers who spoke Chinese, South Asian, or other minority languages. A growing Muslim population in Detroit and Hamtramck, Michigan also had caused issues for native Arab and Middle Eastern language speakers at polling places, Greenbaum said.

The trained federal observers will be watching over voting procedures at polling locations in Russell County, Alabama; Maricopa County, Arizona; Alameda and Riverside Counties in California; Randolph County in Georgia; East Carroll Parish, Louisiana; Paola County, Mississippi; Colfax County, Nebraska; Sandoval, County, New Mexico; Orange County, New York; Cuyahoga and Lorain Counties in Ohio; Williamsburg County, South Carolina; Shannon County, South Dakota; and Dallas, Fort Bend, and Jefferson Counties in Texas.

In addition Justice Department lawyers are being sent to Mobile County, Alabama; Pima County, Arizona; The city of Denver and Arapahoe County, Colorado; Duval, Hendry, Hillsborough, Lee, Miami-Dade, Orange and Osceola counties in Florida.

Chicago and Cook County, Illinois; LaPorte County, Indiana; Finney County, Kansas; Detroit and Hamtramck, Michigan; Alamance and Wake Counties in North Carolina; Bernalillo and Cibola Counties in New Mexico; Queens County, New York; Franklin and Hamilton Counties in Ohio; Allegheny, Chester, Delaware and Lehigh Counties and the city of Philadelphia in Pennsylvania; Richland County, South Carolina; Davidson and Shelby Counties in Tennessee; Harris County, in Texas; and Milwaukee in Wisconsin.


Filed under: 2012 • Justice Department • Voter Problems
soundoff (70 Responses)
  1. Data Driven

    This is excellent news!! For Romney!!!

    November 2, 2012 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  2. Thomas

    Some of you GOP posters here don't know the difference between anger , frustration and pure hate !

    After hearing the insults towerds Colin Powell , Michael Bloomberg and now Bill Clinton .
    Keep it up , you can't save your ass and your face at the same time !

    You people can never except how GW Bush was a failure . And that you voted for him twice. And now you want to elect the same puppet with a different face ?

    Ask yourself , why insnt GW Bush campaigning for Romney right now in Ohio , Michigan or at least Texas ?

    November 2, 2012 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  3. Thomas

    @Ind.
    If you're intimidated by a new black panther do the world a favor...............

    ====

    For your information , the Panthers are now a football team !

    November 2, 2012 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  4. Annirich

    Just discovered that the Somalia Community 45,000 strong didn't even have to prove that they were US Citizens to vote. As long as they had a utility bill in their name that's all it took. Evidently it was reported at the early voting stations that they were brought in by the busloads w/Democrats providing Somali/Arabic translations!

    November 2, 2012 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  5. Lemone

    The repugs are definitely DONE!!!!!!!

    November 2, 2012 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  6. Chrys

    Amen, Claudia. Amen! We the People stand up for ALL Americans!

    November 2, 2012 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  7. GI Joe

    "True the Vote" is the name of the republican political organization that is going mostly to black and hispanic neighborhoods to intimidate and harrass.

    Take your cell phones and take pics of the people doing it . If enough people do this, we can get some prosecutions going on here. Don't let the Rove tactics work this year. If you have an elderly person voting, escort them and take pictures.

    November 2, 2012 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  8. Gurgyl

    Send to densely populated areas and rural towns with red necks too.

    November 2, 2012 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  9. NEVER to VOTE REPUBLICAN again

    Wonderful news! Keep an eye out for those cheating Rebubs! They can't buy or cheat this election!

    November 2, 2012 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  10. truth hurts

    Now WHY would Obama be sending all these federal agents to Ohio huh????? The state that may decide the election! So who will be watching these partisan Obama federal agents to make sure THEY aren't up to no good?! I certainly hope people with cameras are out filming EVERYTHING they do. I don't trust Obama and Holder AT ALL. They have proven over the last 4 years they are willing to violate the laws of this country and misuse their power for their own ends. WAKE UP AMERICA!!

    November 2, 2012 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  11. cwm

    Ind. "Holder going to uphold his racism in the elections?"

    Really, it's pretty obvious to any one with their eyes open where the racism is!! "GOP Voter Suppression Laws and Tactics" you are truly laughable!!

    November 2, 2012 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  12. DENNA

    @ – Ind. – If you're intimidated by a new black panther do the world a favor...............
    ................................................................................................................................................................................
    I'm guessing your preference is for the KKK, right?

    November 2, 2012 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  13. Ind.

    Thomas

    @Ind.
    If you're intimidated by a new black panther do the world a favor...............

    ====

    For your information , the Panthers are now a football team !
    ---–
    Thanks for proving your ignorance.

    November 2, 2012 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  14. Ind.

    DENNA

    @ – Ind. – If you're intimidated by a new black panther do the world a favor...............
    ................................................................................................................................................................................
    I'm guessing your preference is for the KKK, right?
    ------–
    Democrats founded the KKK. I don't like anyone that is racist no matter what color they are.

    November 2, 2012 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  15. DENNA

    @ – truth hurts – Now WHY would Obama be sending all these federal agents to Ohio huh?????
    ......................................................................................................................................................................
    To make sure that the voters are given a fair chance to make their choice. Duhhh. I'll bet Mittens and his GOP minions have people on the ground too. If the GOP is hellbent on stealing this election, it will not be without a fight.

    November 2, 2012 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  16. Ind.

    cwm

    Ind. "Holder going to uphold his racism in the elections?"

    Really, it's pretty obvious to any one with their eyes open where the racism is!! "GOP Voter Suppression Laws and Tactics" you are truly laughable!!
    ---–
    I'd feel sorry for you but you're to stupid to feel sorry for.

    November 2, 2012 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  17. jinx88

    Nice!! These Repukes shouldnt stalk people that are standing in line or better yet sit there and stair at them. They showed on the news last night of several different places where people were just standing in the voting room just watching people while they voted. Pathetic Repukes tactics and they are still losing.

    November 2, 2012 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  18. jkane sfl a vote for lady parts romney the tax cheat and lyin lady parts ryan willcut your moms medicare and soc sec . .can you afford to pay for them???

    Ind is one of these gop goofballs but he or she will be unemployed on Nov 7 . Ind is a gop stooge and tool, moron!!! Obamas winning and romney the tax cheat is going down the toilet in the gop train wreck on Nov 6.

    November 2, 2012 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  19. toddcourt1

    I think these "monitors" do more to intimidate and scare Republicans than they do to enforce the voting rights of Democrats. It seems to be in a knee-jerk reaction to the failed voter ID laws. I don't get a sense that anyone is actually intimidated at the booth, but these monitors are real overkill. There has never been one case of voter intimidation that I know of, but there has been plenty of cases of voter fraud. Let's look forward to the next election when we can have real voter reform, and give people the time they need to vote with an ID. Just like the Supreme Court said.
    I used to be a Democratic Senatorial District Delegate and this trickle up poverty isn't what I signed on for. Obama is no Clinton. What Bill Clinton had Barack Obama couldn't even borrow to get. Clinton had true bi-partisanship; Obama couldn't bribe a vote from legislators, even in the Democratic Senate! We don't need another 4 years of this. We don't need a do-over president; we need a do-er. The bottom line is, who can make America make more money. Obama couldn't make a profit in a lemonade stand; he'd give away all the product and earnings and have too much overhead. I want a real businessman to turn our suffering economy into a surplus economy. I want someone who has proven success, and can demonstrate it in his own life. I want the same opportunities for my kids that my folks had for me, I want my kid to be able to find work when he graduates in four years. That's not going to happen under Obama. Just look at his record. Are college graduates able to find work? No. Obama's gotta go.
    Elect Romney!
    RR’12

    November 2, 2012 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  20. jkane sfl a vote for lady parts romney the tax cheat and lyin lady parts ryan willcut your moms medicare and soc sec . .can you afford to pay for them???

    Ind # unemployed , on Nov 7 along with romney and Ryan and bachmann and cantor and atkins and the list goes on. Gop train wreck on Nov 6.

    November 2, 2012 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  21. Sniffit

    Mitens" "Who cares? The more who vote, the more votes my son's voting machines can tally for me even if they voted for Obama."

    November 2, 2012 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  22. man what

    Its the kkk who kills not the panthers its ther kkk who terrized American citizens not the panthers its the kkk who will destroy Rap and murder not the panthers

    November 2, 2012 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  23. SOUTHERN HOTTIE

    Annirich
    Just discovered that the Somalia Community 45,000 strong didn't even have to prove that they were US Citizens to vote. As long as they had a utility bill in their name that's all it took. Evidently it was reported at the early voting stations that they were brought in by the busloads w/Democrats providing Somali/Arabic translations!

    ************************************************************************************************************************
    Paranoia will destroy you. Get help.

    November 2, 2012 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  24. cali girl

    Bad news for the True The Vote organization. No hi jinks this time.

    November 2, 2012 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  25. Pete

    @truth hurts,they're sending out agents to keep you racist republicans away from the true patriots ,the ones voting for Pres.Obama.And its your idiotic republicans publicly stating they'll do what they can to win,fraud or not,just read truth and quit acting so idiotic,you're racist too aren't yah!!

    November 2, 2012 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
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