DOJ Sending 500 Election Observers to 67 Jurisdictions in 28 States Tuesday

By Susan Jones | November 7, 2016 | 11:40am EST
The Justice Department is sending 500 monitors to polling places across the United States on Tuesday. (AP File Photo)

( - President Obama's Justice Department announced on Monday that its Civil Rights Division will deploy more than 500 personnel to 67 jurisdictions in 28 states to monitor tomorrow's presidential election.

(In the general election in 2012, Justice Department monitors watched polling places in 51 jurisdictions in 23 states; and in the 2010 midterm, federal observers went to 30 jurisdictions in 18 states.)

“On Election Day itself, lawyers in the Civil Rights Division’s Voting Section will staff a hotline starting in the early hours of the morning, and just as we have sent election monitors in prior elections, we will continue to have a robust election monitors program in place on Election Day," said Attorney General Loretta Lynch.

"As always, our personnel will perform these duties impartially, with one goal in mind: to see to it that every eligible voter can participate in our elections to the full extent that federal law provides.  The department is deeply committed to the fair and unbiased application of our voting rights laws and we will work tirelessly to ensure that every eligible person that wants to do so is able to cast a ballot.”

Although voting is primarily the responsibility of state and local governments, DOJ's Civil Rights Division enforces federal voting rights law.

Lynch announced that Civil Rights Division staff members will be available by telephone to receive complaints (toll free at 1-800-253-3931 or 202-307-2767 or TTY 202-305-0082).  In addition, people may report complaints by fax to 202-307-3961; by email to; and by a complaint form on the department’s website:   

The Justice Department said disruptions at polling places "should always be reported immediately to local election officials" (including officials in the polling place).   Violence, threats of violence or intimidation at a polling place should be reported immediately to local police by calling 911.  

The Justice Department says it will gather information on, among other things:

-- whether voters are subject to different voting qualifications or procedures on the basis of race, color or membership in a language minority group;

-- whether jurisdictions are complying with the minority language provisions of the Voting Rights Act;

-- whether jurisdictions permit voters to receive assistance by a person of his or her choice if the voter is blind, has a disability or is unable to read or write;

-- whether jurisdictions provide polling locations and voting systems allowing voters with disabilities to cast a private and independent ballot;

-- whether jurisdictions comply with the voter registration list requirements of the National Voter Registration Act;

-- and whether jurisdictions comply with the provisional ballot requirements of the Help America Vote Act.  

To assist in these inquiries, the department has deployed personnel who speak Spanish and a variety of Asian and Native American languages.  Department personnel will also maintain contact with local election officials.

Here's the list of 67 jurisdictions that will be monitored for compliance with the federal voting rights laws:

    Bethel Census Area, Alaska;
    Dillingham Census Area, Alaska;
    Kusilvak Census Area, Alaska;
    Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area, Alaska;
    Maricopa County, Arizona;
    Navajo County, Arizona;
    Alameda County, California;
    Napa County, California;
    Siskiyou County, California;
    East Hartford, Connecticut;
    Farmington, Connecticut;
    Hartford, Connecticut;
    Middletown, Connecticut;
    New Britain, Connecticut;
    Newington, Connecticut;
    West Hartford, Connecticut;
    Hillsborough County, Florida;
    Lee County, Florida;
    Miami-Dade County, Florida;
    Orange County, Florida;
    Palm Beach County, Florida;
    Fulton County, Georgia;
    Gwinnett County, Georgia;
    Hancock County, Georgia;
    Chicago, Illinois;
    Cook County, Illinois;
    Finney County, Kansas;
    Orleans Parish, Louisiana;
    Quincy, Massachusetts;
    Dearborn Heights, Michigan;
    Detroit, Michigan;
    Hamtramck, Michigan;
    St. Louis, Missouri;
    Douglas County, Nebraska;
    Mineral County, Nevada;
    Washoe County, Nevada;
    Middlesex County, New Jersey;
    Cibola County, New Mexico;
    Kings County, New York;
    Orange County, New York;
    Queens County, New York;
    Cumberland County, North Carolina;
    Forsyth County, North Carolina;
    Mecklenburg County, North Carolina;
    Robeson County, North Carolina;
    Wake County, North Carolina;
    Benson County, North Dakota;
    Rolette County, North Dakota;
    Cuyahoga County, Ohio;
    Franklin County, Ohio;
    Hamilton County, Ohio;
    Allegheny County, Pennsylvania;
    Lehigh County, Pennsylvania;
    Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania;
    Pawtucket, Rhode Island;
    Providence, Rhode Island;
    Bennett County, South Dakota;
    Jackson County, South Dakota;
    Oglala Lakota County, South Dakota;
    Shelby County, Tennessee;
    Dallas County, Texas;
    Harris County, Texas;
    Waller County, Texas;
    San Juan County, Utah;
    Fairfax County, Virginia;
    Prince William County, Virginia, and
    Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

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