Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Civil rights monitors sent to five states for elections - CNN.com

Civil rights monitors sent to five states for elections - CNN.com

Federal civil rights officials announced Monday they have sent election observers to locations in five states to keep an eye out for potential trouble at the polls Tuesday.

The Justice Department's Civil Rights Division dispatched 11 staff attorneys along with 85 trained election observers from the Office of Personnel Management to watch activities at the polls and report any irregularities.

The Justice Department sent election monitors to 11 Mississippi counties for the primary elections in August.

The Justice Department has also assigned monitors to Lorain County, Ohio, to protect the rights of Spanish-speaking voters.

In Alameda County, California, the U.S. will monitor voting following an agreement between federal officials and the county in July. The agreement requires Alameda County to provide election materials and information in Spanish and Chinese.

In Jasper, Texas, racial tensions have run high over the recall election for three African-American city council members responsible for the hiring of the city's first black police chief.

In Springfield, Massachusetts, activists claim minorities were turned away at the polls in the September primary, and said there was no Spanish-language assistance for voters.

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