The Department of Justice announced Monday that it would be sending more than 500 personnel to 67 jurisdictions in 28 states to monitor the general election Tuesday.
The North Carolina State Board of Elections already announced last week that DOJ officials would visit five counties across the state: Cumberland, Forsyth, Mecklenburg, Robeson and Wake. However, there were no details released about why.
Although state and local governments have primary responsibility for administering elections, the Civil Rights Division of the DOJ is charged with enforcing the federal voting rights laws that protect the rights of all citizens to access the ballot on Election Day, according to its announcement. Since the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the department has regularly monitored elections in the field in jurisdictions around the country to protect the rights of voters.
“The bedrock of our democracy is the right to vote, and the Department of Justice works tirelessly to uphold that right not only on Election Day, but every day,” said Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch. “We enforce federal statutes related to voting through a range of activities – including filing our own litigation when the facts warrant, submitting statements of interest in private lawsuits to help explain our understanding of these laws, and providing guidance to election officials and the general public about what these laws mean and what they require.”
You can read the full statement here and see each location DOJ monitors will visit.
The DOJ also released information about where people could report complaints related to violations of the federal voting rights laws leading up to and throughout Election Day. The numbers are 1-800-253-3931 or 202-307-2767 or TTY at 202-305-0082. Individuals may also report complaints by fax to 202-307-3961, by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by a complaint form on the department’s website.