Justice Department Watching For Voting Rights Violations In Hendry and Lee County
LABELLE, FL. -- The U.S. Justice Department announced today that it will monitor elections on Aug. 14, 2012, in the following jurisdictions to ensure compliance with the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and other federal voting rights statutes: Collier, Hendry, Lee, Osceola and Polk Counties, Fla.; and the city of Milwaukee, Wis.
The Voting Rights Act prohibits discrimination in the election process on the basis of race, color or membership in a minority language group. In addition, the act requires certain covered jurisdictions to provide language assistance during the election process. Collier, Hendry, Lee, Osceola and Polk Counties, as well as the city of Milwaukee, are required to provide language assistance in Spanish, because of their large population of Spanish speaking voters in each of those locations.
The Justice Department said Civil Rights Division personnel will monitor polling place activities in these jurisdictions and Civil Rights Division attorneys will coordinate federal activities and maintain contact with local election officials.
Brenda Hoots, of the Hendry Supervisor of Elections office says as far as she knows this is the first time the Justice Department has had personnel monitoring on election day in Hendry county. Lucretia Strickland, Hendry County Supervisor of Elections said the Justice Department notified her on Friday, August 10th that they would be in Hendry county, going from polling place to polling place on Tuesday for the Primary Elections.
Each year, the Justice Department deploys hundreds of federal observers from Office of Personnel Management, as well as departmental staff, to monitor elections across the country. To file complaints about discriminatory voting practices, including acts of harassment or intimidation, voters may call the Voting Section of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division at 1-800-253-3931.
Visit www.justice.gov/crt/voting/index.php for more information about the Voting Rights Act and other federal voting laws.