In Arizona, racist behavior ( by Sheriff Joe and his deputies, Tea Party members through “True the Vote”, militia members, white supremacists, etc) has been so bad that the DOJ is concerned non-white voters will be harassed to the point they cannot vote. So they’ll be around and I’m grateful for it. In regards to Sheriff Joe, I personally don’t want to get into a feud with the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office. I can write about it all I want but in reality if he or his lackeys wanted to make my life impossible, they could. In truth the Feds should have prosecuted him years ago. The least they can do is help us all vote in peace without fear of intimidation and reprisals.
Arizona isn’t the only state getting special attention. The DOJ is monitoring 23 states because those states 1) can’t get their shit together to run polling stations in even the most basic fashion, and/or 2) are allowing third party organizations to interfere in the elections, and/or 2) are just plain trying to steal the election. Of those 23 states, I believe only two have Democratic Governors. Conservatives will say the poor Republicans are being picked on. A rational person would say, there must have been more violations of the Civil Rights there, therefore they need to be watched more closely. Before the parties had completely switched positions on Civil Rights most of the monitoring was in Democratic Governors’ states. So no one is picking on Republicans. There have simply been more reported violations in those states in recent years.
And no you conspiracy theorists, they are not there to steal the election for Pres. Obama. There have been federal observers in every election since we had Civil Rights become an issue in the 1960’s. Just because a goodly portion of white America is terrified of the current President doesn’t mean the DOJ is engaged in jackbooted thuggery. In fact the federal observers and personnel are only there to collect information about:
- Whether voters are treated differently based on their race or language,
- Whether elections offices are complying with minority or minority language provisions of the federal Voting Rights Act,
- Whether elections offices provide assistance to voters who are blind, disabled or can’t read,
- Whether jurisdictions allow voters with disabilities to cast a private and independent ballot;
- Whether jurisdictions comply with the voter registration list requirements of the National Voter Registration Act;
- Whether jurisdictions comply with the provisional ballot requirements of the Help America Vote Act.
If you experience any problem or confusion while voting report the situation to one of the poll workers or election officials immediately. Do not wait until you have finished voting. If the election officials at the polling place are unable or unwilling to help you, the problem should be reported directly to the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, particularly if you feel you have been denied the right to vote based on your race, color, or language minority status or that otherwise your voting rights under federal law have been violated. There are no special forms to use or procedures to follow–just call the Civil Rights Division toll-free at (800) 253-3931, or contact them by mail at:
Chief, Voting Section
Civil Rights Division Room 7254 – NWB
Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.
Washington, DC 20530
If you are hearing impaired you can call 1-877-267-8971 or Fax them at 202-307-3961. If you have questions about the location or hours of operation of your polling place you need to find out from your state or local officials–you can find that contact info here or here.
Ultimately, I do care about who you vote for….as I’ve explained many, many times, I support Pres. Obama. However, I would prefer that everyone vote, regardless of who they cast their vote for. Our country will not last very long without real engagement by the voting public. I am SO very thankful to live in the U.S. in this day and age. So on behalf of all your ancestors and all those nameless protesters who shed their blood so we can be free, get out there and vote!