Justice Dept. Sending Observers to Monitor Tuesday's Election--In Queens, N.Y.

By Terence P. Jeffrey | November 2, 2012 | 6:50pm EDT


President Barack Obama and Eric Holder (AP Photo)

(CNSNews.com) - The U.S. Justice Department announced on Friday that it is dispatching 780 department personnel and federal observers from the Office of Personnel Management to monitor Tuesday's elections in 51 jurisdictions around the country--including Queens, N.Y.

The department said that in following out its duties under the Voting Rights Act, the National Voter Registration Act, and the Help America Vote Act it intended to make certain that people with disabilities, people who can't read or write, and people who don't understand English have their voting rights protected.

"The observers and department personnel 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," DOJ said in a press release.

The observers and department personnel, DOJ said, will gather information on "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 allow 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."

Some of the observers the Justice Department is sending out can speak Native American languages, while others can speak Spanish and Asian languages.

"To assist in these inquiries, the department has deployed observers and monitors who speak Spanish and a variety of Asian and Native American languages," said DOJ.

Queens is not the only New York state jurisdiction that will be targeted by Department of Justice election monitors. Department will also send observers to Orange County, New York.

The Justice Department also said it will monitor the election in five jurisdictions in Pennsylvania, including Philadelphia, and Allegheny, Lehigh, Delaware and Chester Counties.

It will also send monitors to Hamilton, Franklin, Cuyahoga and Lorain counties in the key swing state of Ohio. Cincinnati is in Hamilton County, Columbus is in Franklin County, Cleveland is in Cuyahoga County, and Lorain is just west of Cuyahoga.

The Justice Department is sending monitors to seven counties in Florida--including Miami-Dade and Hillsborough County, where Tampa is located.

The department will also be monitoring in Maricopa County and Pima counties in Arizona, where Phoenix and Tucson are located.

To see the full list of 51 jurisdictions in 23 states where the Justice Department will be sending federal officials to watch the election click here.

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