The Department of Justice will provide staff in 44 jurisdictions in 18 states throughout the United States “to monitor for compliance with the federal voting rights laws” on Election Day, the agency announced in a Nov. 2 news release.
The Justice Department's Civil Rights division has enforced voting rights laws since the passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1965.
Agency staff will be sent to counties and cities in Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin. A full list of jurisdictions can be found in the news release.
Justice Department monitors will try to determine if polling places "focus on compliance with the Voting Rights Act" or other federal laws, according to the news release. Civil rights personnel from U.S. Attorney's Offices will also be sent, and they will maintain contact with local and state elections officials.
"Complaints related to disruption at a polling place should always be reported immediately to local election officials (including officials in the polling place)," the news release stated. "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."