The Justice Department announced its plans for voting rights monitoring in jurisdictions around the country for the Nov. 3, 2020 general election. The Justice Department historically has monitored in jurisdictions in the field on election day, and is again doing so this year. The department will also take complaints from the public nationwide regarding possible violations of the federal voting rights laws through its call center.
“Federal law entrusts the Civil Rights Division with protecting the right to vote for all Americans,” said Eric S. Dreiband, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. “Our federal laws protect the right of all American citizens to vote without suffering discrimination, intimidation, and harassment. The work of the Civil Rights Division around each federal general election is a continuation of its historical mission to ensure that all of our citizens can freely exercise this most fundamental American right.”
The Civil Rights Division enforces the federal voting rights laws that protect the rights of all citizens to access the ballot. Since the passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1965, the division has regularly monitored in a variety of elections around the country throughout every year to protect the rights of all voters, and not just in federal general elections.
The Civil Rights Division plans to send personnel to 44 jurisdictions in 18 states to monitor for compliance with the federal voting rights laws:
- Coconino County, Arizona;
- Maricopa County, Arizona;
- Navajo County, Arizona;
- Los Angeles County, California;
- Orange County, California;
- Broward County, Florida;
- Duval County, Florida;
- Hillsborough County, Florida;
- Miami-Dade County, Florida;
- Orange County, Florida;
- Palm Beach County, Florida;
- Fulton County, Georgia;
- Gwinnett County, Georgia;
- City of Chicago, Illinois;
- Cook County, Illinois;
- Montgomery County, Maryland;
- City of Boston, Massachusetts;
- City of Lowell, Massachusetts;
- City of Malden, Massachusetts;
- City of Quincy, Massachusetts;
- City of Springfield, Massachusetts;
- City of Detroit, Michigan;
- City of Eastpointe, Michigan;
- City of Flint, Michigan;
- City of Hamtramck, Michigan;
- City of Highland Park, Michigan;
- City of Jackson, Michigan;
- Shelby Township, Michigan;
- City of Minneapolis, Minnesota;
- Bergen County, New Jersey;
- Middlesex County, New Jersey;
- Bernalillo County, New Mexico;
- Mecklenburg County, North Carolina;
- Wake County, North Carolina;
- Cuyahoga County, Ohio;
- Allegheny County, Pennsylvania;
- Lehigh County, Pennsylvania;
- Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania;
- Richland County, South Carolina;
- Harris County, Texas;
- Waller County, Texas;
- Fairfax County, Virginia;
- Prince William County, Virginia; and
- City of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
As in past years, monitors will focus on compliance with the Voting Rights Act, and the other federal voting rights laws enforced by the division. Monitors will include civil rights personnel from the Civil Rights Division and civil rights and civil personnel from U.S. Attorney’s Offices. Civil Rights Division personnel will also maintain contact with state and local election officials.
The Civil Rights Division’s Voting Section enforces the civil provisions of federal statutes that protect the right to vote, including the Voting Rights Act, the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act, the National Voter Registration Act, the Help America Vote Act, and the Civil Rights Acts. The division’s Disability Rights Section enforces the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to ensure that persons with disabilities have a full and equal opportunity to vote. The division’s Criminal Section enforces federal criminal statutes that prohibit voter intimidation and voter suppression based on race, color, national origin or religion.
On Election Day, Civil Rights Division personnel will be available all day to receive complaints from the public related to possible violations of the federal voting rights laws by a complaint form on the department’s website https://civilrights.justice.gov/ or by telephone toll-free at 800-253-3931.
Individuals with questions or complaints related to the ADA may call the department’s toll-free ADA information line at 800-514-0301 or 800-514-0383 (TDD), or submit a complaint through a link on the department’s ADA website, at https://www.ada.gov/.
Complaints related to disruption at a polling place should always be reported immediately to local election officials (including officials in the polling place). Complaints related to violence, threats of violence or intimidation at a polling place should be reported immediately to local police authorities by calling 911. These complaints should also be reported to the department after local authorities have been contacted.
Last week, the Justice Department announced its overall plans for the general election to protect the right to vote and secure the integrity of the voting process through the work of the Civil Rights Division, Criminal Division, National Security Division, and U.S. Attorney’s Offices.