DOJ sends voting rights monitors, observers to 23 states
November 2nd, 2012
02:54 PM ET
8 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. Voter

    There is voter FRAUD occurring!!! Computers are SWITCHING VOTES! Make sure your vote is what YOU wanted!!!

    November 2, 2012 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  2. uh oh

    the right wing posters on here just prove racism is alive and well.

    November 2, 2012 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  3. lolo

    This is a shame that the Gop is willing to cheat and lie to vote for a liar. Hopefully we will not have to deal with these frauds for 20 years or more. They know that they are the KKK without the sheets.

    November 2, 2012 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  4. canada

    Don't vote for mitt, is a big liar. Am from canada i wish am voting

    November 2, 2012 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  5. Ben Goodman

    We need the National Guard at every polling station to bounce anyone who even looks cross-eyed at a voter.

    November 2, 2012 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  6. I Voted Early In NC

    You republican racists are the reason your party will cease to exist. You are why my family left the republican party and will never vote republican again.

    November 2, 2012 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |

    I hope Obama wins,..and the House and Senate go Democratic,..that way ,the electoral process can me streamlined , modernized, and made fraud proof. ..and i hope the cheating, lying, fraudulent GOP, wiped off the face of the American political landscape. They are disgusting.

    November 2, 2012 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  8. truth hurts

    canada - Am from canada i wish am voting
    Well come on down and vote!! All the illegals here can vote thanks to the Democrats. All you need is a name pulled out of the phone book. If you want to play it safe, also print out a bogus utility bill on the computer. It is that easy to steal a country these days thanks to the Democrats, Obama and Holder.

    November 2, 2012 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  9. Georgia Girl

    Good, someone is watching the wolves who are watching the so called chickens in the hen house.

    November 2, 2012 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  10. crp

    Good idea. No doubt at all that people will try to deny the ability to vote just because they think they can. There are some in this country who believe they are more equal than the rest of us. They have the right to decide. Nothing could be sadder. Will the USA still be a beacon of hope for those in repressive countries? Will they trust us to help them when we will not help our own people?

    November 2, 2012 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  11. Sniffit

    "the right wing posters on here just prove racism is alive and well."

    And living in its mother's basement.

    November 2, 2012 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  12. GuyinVA

    Will they be in Philadelphia?

    November 2, 2012 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  13. GI Joe

    Obama/Biden 2012 - because Mutt is a pathological liar that is for ONLY the 1%.

    November 2, 2012 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  14. Gurgyl

    Mitt the twit is JUNK IDIOT.

    November 2, 2012 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  15. Marie MD

    They couldn't buy/steal the election, they couldn't pass legislation to keep people from voting with ID laws that are not legal but they are still trying to intimidate older folks and minorities!!

    November 2, 2012 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  16. rs


    2008 election proved that demcorats will go to literally any length to keep their messiah in the White House.

    You mean by winning?

    November 2, 2012 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  17. Look in the mirror

    So the justice department is going to be at the polls to stop voter intimidation? You have to be kidding me that's too funny especially when the ones in charge decide not to prosecute obvious voter intimidation. That's ok they'll be gone soon.
    As far as any throwing out the racist comments just look in the mirror. I venture to say that you are the true racist and the rest of the public is starting to take notice you bunch of hypocrites!!

    November 2, 2012 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  18. V in Chicago

    Vote like your life depends on it! Because is just might if Romney gets elected. Unless you are one of his top 1% buddies, he will NOT have your back. Instead, he will be robbing your piggy banks to line his own pockets. Romney would sell the United States if he thought he could make a profit from it.

    Don't be fooled by all the lies and deceit. Do your homework and make sure you make the right decision. President Obama has our backs!! Romney wants his hands in your pockets and will stop at nothing to get there . . .

    Obama/Biden 2012

    November 2, 2012 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  19. The Truth Teller

    Go get them , put them in jail is what I would like to see .

    November 2, 2012 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  20. This is how Banana Republics are created

    Will we be able to tell that they are from the Obama adminstration by their black tactical suits, jack boots, helmets and batons. Any voter not professing loyalty to the Dear Leader Obama will be escorted to the side of the building and re-educated with the baton.

    November 2, 2012 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
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