Federal election observers to watch polling sites in Bernalillo, Sandoval counties

Posted at: 11/05/2012 10:48 AM
Updated at: 11/05/2012 11:26 AM
By: KOB.com staff

The U.S. Justice Department has announced it will have observers present on Election Day to look for irregularities at polling sites in Bernalillo and Sandoval counties.

The two New Mexico counties are among 51 the federal governemnt will be observing Tuesday.

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; 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 disabilit ies 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 observers and monitors who speak Spanish and a variety of Asian and Native American languages.

Both the federal observers and department personnel will coordinate monitoring activities, and department attorneys maintain contact with local election officials.

Last month, the Justice Department announced efforts to ensure that all qualified voters have the opportunity to cast their ballots and have their votes counted free of discrimination, intimidation or fraud in the election process.

More information about the Voting Rights Act and other federal voting and election-related laws is available on the Civil Rights Division ’s website here.