The Justice Department announced today that it will monitor the primary elections on May 15, 2012, in Colfax and Douglas Counties in Nebraska, to ensure compliance with the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and other federal voting rights statutes. 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 Colfax County to provide language assistance in Spanish during the election process.
Under the Voting Rights Act, the Justice Department is authorized to ask the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to send federal observers to jurisdictions that are certified by the attorney general or by a federal court order. Federal observers will be assigned to monitor polling place activities in Colfax County based on a federal court order entered in 2012. The observers will watch and record activities during voting hours at polling locations in these counties, and Civil Rights Division attorneys will coordinate the federal activities and maintain contact with local election officials.
In addition, Justice Department personnel will monitor polling place activities in Douglas County. Civil Rights Division attorneys will coordinate federal activities and maintain contact with local election officials.
Each year, the Justice Department deploys hundreds of federal observers from OPM, 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.