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DOJ Announces presidential election ‘voting rights monitoring’ across the nation

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The Justice Department announced its plans Monday for presidential “voting rights” monitoring in jurisdictions around the country on Tuesday for the 2020 general election.

DOJ spokesperson Kerri Kupec announced the plans on Twitter, as well as an official Justice Department press release as concerns among GOP voters have escalated over recent months that mail-in-ballots (universal ballots) could be tampered with during the election.

She said on Twitter “department will also take complaints from the public nationwide regarding possible violation of fed voting rights laws through its call center.”

The press release noted that the “Justice Department historically has monitored in jurisdictions in the field on election day, and is again doing so this year.”

Moreover, the DOJ will also take complaints from the public nationwide regarding possible violations of the federal voting rights laws through its call center that can be accessed from the DOJ’s official website.

“Federal law entrusts the Civil Rights Division with protecting the right to vote for all Americans,” said Eric S. Dreiband, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. “Our federal laws protect the right of all American citizens to vote without suffering discrimination, intimidation, and harassment. The work of the Civil Rights Division around each federal general election is a continuation of its historical mission to ensure that all of our citizens can freely exercise this most fundamental American right.”

The press release noted that the Civil Rights Division plans to send personnel to 44 jurisdictions in 18 states to monitor for compliance with the federal voting rights laws: 

  • Coconino County, Arizona;
  • Maricopa County, Arizona;
  • Navajo County, Arizona;
  • Los Angeles County, California;
  • Orange County, California;
  • Broward County, Florida;
  • Duval County, Florida;
  • Hillsborough County, Florida;
  • Miami-Dade County, Florida;
  • Orange County, Florida;
  • Palm Beach County, Florida;
  • Fulton County, Georgia;
  • Gwinnett County, Georgia;
  • City of Chicago, Illinois;
  • Cook County, Illinois;
  • Montgomery County, Maryland;
  • City of Boston, Massachusetts;
  • City of Lowell, Massachusetts;
  • City of Malden, Massachusetts;
  • City of Quincy, Massachusetts;
  • City of Springfield, Massachusetts;
  • City of Detroit, Michigan;
  • City of Eastpointe, Michigan;
  • City of Flint, Michigan;
  • City of Hamtramck, Michigan;
  • City of Highland Park, Michigan;
  • City of Jackson, Michigan;
  • Shelby Township, Michigan;
  • City of Minneapolis, Minnesota;
  • Bergen County, New Jersey;
  • Middlesex County, New Jersey;
  • Bernalillo County, New Mexico;
  • Mecklenburg County, North Carolina;
  • Wake County, North Carolina;
  • Cuyahoga County, Ohio;
  • Allegheny County, Pennsylvania;
  • Lehigh County, Pennsylvania;
  • Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania;
  • Richland County, South Carolina;
  • Harris County, Texas;
  • Waller County, Texas;
  • Fairfax County, Virginia;
  • Prince William County, Virginia; and
  • City of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

As in past years, monitors will focus on compliance with the Voting Rights Act, and the other federal voting rights laws enforced by the division. Monitors will include civil rights personnel from the Civil Rights Division and civil rights and civil personnel from U.S. Attorney’s Offices. Civil Rights Division personnel will also maintain contact with state and local election officials.

The Civil Rights Division’s Voting Section enforces the civil provisions of federal statutes that protect the right to vote, including the Voting Rights Act, the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act, the National Voter Registration Act, the Help America Vote Act, and the Civil Rights Acts. The division’s Disability Rights Section enforces the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to ensure that persons with disabilities have a full and equal opportunity to vote. The division’s Criminal Section enforces federal criminal statutes that prohibit voter intimidation and voter suppression based on race, color, national origin or religion. ” 

You can follow Sara A. Carter on Twitter @SaraCarterDC

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Elections

New York City Dems Push Law to Allow 800,000 Non-Citizens to Vote in Municipal Elections

The New York City Council will vote on December 9 on a law to allow green-card holders and residents with work permits to vote in municipal elections

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New York’s Democratic party is battling over the constitutionality of voter laws. On December 9, the New York City Council will vote on a law to allow green-card holders and residents with work permits to vote in municipal elections.

“Around 808,000 New York City residents who have work permits or are lawful permanent residents would be eligible to vote under the legislation, which has the support of 34 of 51 council members, a veto-proof majority” reports Fox News.

“It’s important for the Democratic Party to look at New York City and see that when voting rights are being attacked, we are expanding voter participation,” Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez, a sponsor of the bill and Democrat who represents the Washington Heights neighborhood of Manhattan, told the New York Times. Rodriguez immigrated from the Dominican Republic and became a U.S. citizen in 2000.

Fox News reports:

Laura Wood, Chief Democracy Officer for the mayor’s office, said at a hearing on the bill in September that the law could violate the New York State Constitution, which states that voters must be U.S. citizens age 18 or older.

Mayor Bill de Blasio indicated he could veto the bill following the September hearing.
“We’ve done everything that we could possibly get our hands on to help immigrant New Yorkers—including undocumented folks—but…I don’t believe it is legal,” de Blasio told WNYC radio at the time.

Mayor-elect Eric Adams, however, submitted testimony to the September hearing in favor of the bill. “In a democracy, nothing is more fundamental than the right to vote and to say who represents you and your community in elected office…Currently, almost one million New Yorkers are denied this foundational right.”

The legislation was first introduced two years ago, but had not yet gained traction due to the legal concerns.

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