DOJ To Monitor Polls in 23 States

Just a quick post…

CNN is reporting that:

The Justice Department Friday announced that it is dispatching more than 780 federal observers and monitors to 23 states to watch for potential problems which would violate voting rights protected by federal law.

The Justice Department said it was sending observers to 51 jurisdictions in those states to help enforce federal voting rights laws which protect ballot access.


Jon Greenbaum, Chief Counsel for the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, says his organization is generally pleased with the locations selected for federal monitoring. The organization successfully pushed, for example, for monitors to be sent to Maricopa County, Arizona because of potential problems for Hispanic voters, and the group noted potential for discrimination against black voters in Alabama and Mississippi counties.

Historic incidents of discrimination against Native American voters prompted observers to be sent to Shannon County, South Dakota, and Sandoval County, New Mexico, Greenbaum said. In Chicago, several ethnic minorities have suffered incidents in the past, including lack of poll workers who spoke Chinese, South Asian, or other minority languages. A growing Muslim population in Detroit and Hamtramck, Michigan also had caused issues for native Arab and Middle Eastern language speakers at polling places, Greenbaum said.

There’s a complete list of the targeted counties at the CNN link. Franklin and Hamilton Counties in Ohio are included.

According to the Palm Beach Post,

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, who was at the U.S. Attorney’s office in Tallahassee on Friday, is sending staff to Duval County, Hendry, Hillsborough, Lee, Miami-Dade, Orange and Osceola counties on Election Day. DOJ is also monitoring Miami-Dade County elections during early voting, the agency announced today.

Hendry and Hillsborough are two of the five “preclearance” counties – along with Collier, Hardee and Monroe – that require federal approval of election law changes because of a history of discrimination against minorities.

“Although state and local governments have primary responsibility for administering elections, the Civil Rights Division is charged with enforcing the federal voting rights laws that protect the rights of all citizens to access the ballot on Election Day,” DOJ said in the press release.

The LA Times reports that Riverside and Alameda Counties are on the list.

The federal government began monitoring polling sites in Riverside County after the agency’s Civil Rights Division filed a complaint against the county for failing to offer election-related information and assistance to Spanish-speaking voters, a violation of the Voting Rights Act.

The county and the Department of Justice reached a settlement in February 2010 that included having federal observers at polling stations.

A similar settlement was reached with Alameda County in 2011 after the federal government accused the county of failing to train an adequate number of poll workers to help Mandarin-, Cantonese- and Spanish-speaking voters on election day.

This may not completely make up for the numerous efforts of Republican election officials to suppress the votes of traditionally Democratic groups, but it’s good to know Holder is on the case.

This is an open thread.


59 Comments on “DOJ To Monitor Polls in 23 States”

  1. NW Luna says:

    Good news the DOJ takes this seriously!

  2. bostonboomer says:

    I’m not sure how legitimate this story is, but a writer at HuffPo claims that Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted and ES&S secretly installed some kind of “experimental software” in voting machines in 39 Ohio counties.

  3. janicen says:

    I have to share this before I forget it. This just happened. Phone rang, I answered and the robo-voice said, “Hello, this is a short, three question poll about the role of religion in government.”

    So of course, I can’t pass that up! The first question is do you agree with the Rev Billy Graham, Jr. when he said religion should play an important role in government. Something like that, I’m paraphrasing based on my memory. Press 1 for “yes” and 2 for “no”. So I pressed 1 and it hung up! That was it, it didn’t even bother with the next two questions!

    My point is, there you go with the “integrity” of polling. It’s gotten to where they fish around for the answers they want and then some Congressperson will cite it!

    • bostonboomer says:

      Why did you press 1?

      • janicen says:

        LOL! Ooops! I meant that I pressed 2!!!!!!! Sorry for the confusion. My timer was buzzing and I ran off to dinner before proofreading.

    • ecocatwoman says:

      I just got a robocall sponsored by my fave, Crossroads GPS. It was a recorded message from someone whose advice I truly value – NOT! Clint Eastwood to tell me he’s voting for Mittens. Does one need any other reason to not vote for Mittens?

      I’m registered Green, yet most of the political calls & polls I get, nearly all are from Republicans. Hell, a registered Dem is more likely to vote for a Repugnant than a Green would. Jeez Louise.

  4. Beata says:

    Cincinnati is the county seat of Hamilton County, Ohio. Cincinnati has a history of racial discrimination, including frequent racial profiling by the police department. I used to live in that area of Ohio.

    • bostonboomer says:

      That’s where the machines are that Tagg Romney is associated with. But I heard on NPR today that they have paper ballots that are fed into the machines. So there can be a recount. That’s the way it is where I vote–paper ballots.

      • ecocatwoman says:

        Paper here in Orange County/Orlando too. I also heard the NPR story with the lead something like, “what’s with the liberal conspiracy theory that Romney’s son (as if there is only one!) who might steal the vote in Texas.” I think the new guy in charge at NPR is trying too hard to appear non-partisan.

      • pdgrey says:

        That is the way it was during 2000 in volusia country, florida a democratic county and ballots were found in the dumpster.

  5. RalphB says:

    Nine 2012 Electoral College predictions have Obama ahead

    Nice roundup of the predictions from the numbers guys.

  6. ANonOMouse says:

    It’s good to know the DOJ is looking over the shoulders of some of these poll workers.

    I watched Rev.Al tonight, he was upset because in FL there are 3-4 hours waits at the polls in areas that are mostly black & hispanic. Apparently the ballot is 14 pages long, which slows down the voting process. I can’t imagine a ballot that long, but I can imagine why they make it so complicated. I hope people understand how to ignore all the distractions on the ballot and just concentrate on the important races and issues specifically affecting their lives.

    Al, had Charlie Crist on the show and in 2008 Crist extended voting so that these polling places could handle the volume. Rick Scott refuses to do the same this year. it appears that Scott’s only reason for not extending voting into Sunday and extending the hours of voting, is because HE CAN. I hope the people in FL throw that bum out when his term is up, he’s a walking voter suppression machine.

    • pdgrey says:

      Mouse, when I go to vote Tuesday, at the most there will be one person in front of me. Maybe someone can tell me why. I only know of 3 black families in these little shitty houses in my neck of the woods. Sicking.

      • ANonOMouse says:

        pdgrey……How in the hell do you folks in FL get through casting a vote with ballots that are 14 pages long? I can’t imagine trying to sort through all that, especially for voters who don’t read well, have trouble reading or voters who aren’t informed about the other issues on the ballot. Why in the hell do the citizens of FL allow their legislature to clutter up important elections and slow down the voting process during a presidential election with these other issues? These issues need to moved to mid-term elections which might require some butt kicking.

      • pdgrey says:

        Actually Mouse, the Republican State makes it easy, almost any amendment is a page long to cover up shit. Think of it as febreze. If they wrote it vote no. Like you said soap and water and lots of scrubbing.

    • pdgrey says:

      Also, Mouse, Scott is worse than everything you said about him. Dak has Jindal but this guy is his brother.

      • ANonOMouse says:

        Oh I know about Rick Scott. He’s a corrupt sleaze bag.

      • pdgrey says:

        The main thing to know about #6 that cleaver little abortion one, is it starts out saying “Do you want to make it illegal for the federal government to pay for abortion”, which is already illegal, thank you (Mr.Blunt)) the hidden part is health privacy for women. The assholes. No one would ever read that and understand it.

      • ANonOMouse says:

        “Do you want to make it illegal for the federal government to pay for abortion”, which is already illegal, thank you (Mr.Blunt)) the hidden part is health privacy for women. The assholes. No one would ever read that and understand it.”

        You also need to give some credit for that to the long dead, but not forgotten, Henry Hyde. He’s been blocking choice since 1977 and is still blocking it from the grave.

    • ecocatwoman says:

      I agree, Scott needs to go. He was an unconvicted crook when he was elected & needs to be indicted & put in jail. The health care company he started defrauded Medicare/Medicaid. They didn’t get caught until after he left the company.

      I drove by an early polling place yesterday – to & from work. Cars turning into the parking lot were holding up traffic on the road in front of the place. Tonight on the way home there was a line of people around the building, waiting to get inside. I plan to get to the polling place at 7AM tomorrow, an hour before the doors open.

      The ballot is so long because the 11 amendments put on the ballot by our Republican state legislature are the full amendments – not just a short summary. The Repugs insisted the complete language be included, which has never been done that I recall. The ballots are printed in English & Spanish, so that may account for the length as well. It’s important these amendments are defeated & the language, as always, is written to confuse, making the voter think they are voting for something that’s the opposite of what the amendment would actually do.

      Crist, for the most part, was a good governor. The only Republican gov that I actually liked. Jeb is an arrogant schmuck. Scott is a scumbag. We have, here in Florida, about 47 Repugs running unopposed. The Dem Party in FL really sucks.

      • ANonOMouse says:

        “The Dem Party in FL really sucks”

        Y’all need to put Wasserman-Schultz to work fixing that. She talks like FL Dems have a great ground game, is that true? I’m sure hoping it is.

        • ecocatwoman says:

          Wasserman-Schultz is federal. To the best of my knowledge, fed & state don’t work together all that much. I think she’s talking about the Obama ground game, not the Dem ground game. Seriously, the state party couldn’t find anyone to run against so many Repugs? I don’t think they even looked.

      • ecocatwoman says:

        Here’s a link, if you’re interested, to read about the amendments:

      • pdgrey says:

        Mouse, ecocatwoman, is right. Debbie is not in charge of Florida really. Although I can’t figure out why no one is trying to change it. I have lived here over 25 years. The Democratic party is not organized here. How we won during the Clinton terms is a mystery to me I guess it says something about him. Bob Poe (the democratic head of the state) was a show horse and I actually had a little tiff with him at a Christmas party after Kerry. The republicans run the world here, people just don’t know it. Honestly as a political state this place sucks. I feel like Dak.

      • ANonOMouse says:

        Thanks for info Eco & pdgrey. I’m going to look at those amendements. thanks for linking them.

      • Beata says:

        We have a simple ballot in Indiana. A two-sided one page ballot with no amendments. We don’t vote on amendments because our state government couldn’t care less about our opinions. They pass sh** at the State House and we find out about it later. Our governor also has a lot of power. Many of the things Scott Walker tried to get passed in Wisconsin, Mitch Daniels was able to sign in Indiana by executive order on his first day in office. You all want to move here, don’t you? Come on, admit it. 🙂

        • ecocatwoman says:

          I saw Daniels on Colbert recently. Apparently he’s off to Purdue University soon & has agreed not to talk about politics and/or candidates. He certainly knows how to package himself. He seemed so innocuous, but isn’t. ICK!

      • pdgrey says:

        Beata, that sounds like a shit state . But just think of depending on just the people who do vote, to read these legal documents and then for ten minutes they have become Clarence Darrow.

  7. RalphB says:

    As good a first guess as any from Josh Marshall.

    TPM: Let’s Call the Meme: the anti-Unicorn

    Going into the weekend things are looking good for Barack Obama. Not terribly different than they looked mid-week or a week ago. But there are a slew of polls which show either a confirmation of his relatively strong position in key states or the slightest move in his direction. And with that we’re starting to see the first take from those who’ve spent the last weeks either unskewing the polls or flagging the Romney-mentum.

    So what is it? Easy. Obama was losing. But Hurricane Sandy turned out to be the anti-Unicorn, the Romney-slayer that killed Romn-mentum and pushed Barack Obama over the finish line, even though he was losing and deserved to lose and was also socialist.

    • pdgrey says:

      Thanks, Ralph for the link, It’s good to know someone is trying to walk us off the anxiety cliff! 🙂

    • List of X says:

      If Obama wins because of a natural disaster, that should be clear indicator for GOP that God wanted Obama to win. But GOP probably won’t interpret it that way, because the Republican God only cares about gays and rape.

  8. ANonOMouse says:

    “The health care company he started defrauded Medicare/Medicaid.”

    I’m very familiar with the fraud that company pulled. During the time my mother was on Medicare she got a bill from a hospital in that network for a huge amount of money. She had never spent in minute as a patient in that hospital, but my father had open heart surgery at the facility a couple of years before. My mother was sick with lung cancer at the time, both she and my father were to sick to handle problems. I called the hospital and challenged the bill and they gave me the runaround and said they would check into it. They called back later and said it was all a big mistake. I was suspicious that there was something fraudulent going on, so I went through all of my parents EOB’s and found nothing on the claim, but I knew from handling my parents medical bills that if they had billed my mother, that they had also billed Medicare. So I called the company that processed Medicare claims and told them about the stituation. They didn’t tell me whether or not the Hospital had filed a claim on my mother, but they thanked me for taking the time to call them.

    BTW….Bain Capital is the major stock holder in that company now. At the time of the fraud Scott’s company “Columbia Hospital Corp” had merged with HCA owned by Thomas Frist, the Father of former TN Senator Bill Frist. Scott was made Chairman & CEO of Columbia/HCA. When the scandal became news the Board forced Scott’s resignation. Isn’t it amazing how these crooks grease each others palms? Isn’t it even more amazing how these criminals can pay a big fine and walk away, but a guy who steals a loaf of bread to feed his children goes to jail? Disgusting.

    • pdgrey says:

      Wow, Mouse, my sister’s and i had to go through almost the same damn shit with my parents.

    • pdgrey says:

      No, Mouse I haven’t seen it, my parents have died and I moved my father to Florida to live with me after my mom died. He had medicare but what saved him from large bills (he had Parkinson’s) was he had rural letter carriers insurance he had in paid into for years and because of John F. Kennedy he got back years added on.

      • ANonOMouse says:

        My parents are gone too pdgrey. Mom died 18 yrs ago, dad died 13 yrs ago. I cared for both of them, in my home until they passed. They had Medicare and supplementary insurance from mom’s work. Mom died 5 yrs before dad, and 2 years before dad passed he reached his lifetime limit. Dad died almost penniless and he would have been penniless had he not lived with me and had I not cared for him. He spent the last 3 years of his life getting all liquid nourishment through a peg tube in his stomach. That food cost aroud $2 thousand dollars a month. Thankfully the lifetime limit goes away in Obamacare, that will help everyone, not just seniors.

      • pdgrey says:

        I am so sorry to hear your story Mouse, and I can only let you know I understand. It’s only been 3 1/2 years for me. It is hard to be the only care giver but I am starting to be nothing but grateful for every second. I miss them so much.

  9. ecocatwoman says:

    bb, your boy, Nate Silver is on Rachel NOW!

  10. ecocatwoman says:

    Next Rachel is going to talk about the mess that is Florida voting. Oh, goody. We’re in the news again. It just wouldn’t be election season without Florida getting a lot of publicity.

  11. dakinikat says:

    No wonder Republicans are worried about voter fraud … they do it so they assume every one does …

    REPUBLICAN Woman Arrested for Trying to Vote More Than Once – 8 News NOW … via @8NewsNow

  12. RalphB says:

    Romneys final argument is “Vote for me or the economy gets it” and I gotta say I agree with Dan Savage who said “We’re not a democracy, we’re a hostage situation”.

  13. RalphB says:

    The Onion? No. From The Washington Post 🙂

    Summing up the Mitt Romney campaign

    Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign on Thursday released a new ad that GOP advisers say epitomizes his years of running for president.

    The spot depicts the former Massachusetts governor standing in front of a fluttering U.S. flag and repeating the word “America” for 25 seconds, before concluding with, “Not Obama.”

    “The ad we’ve cut represents the sort of detailed, policy-rich alternative to President Obama that Governor Romney has offered this whole campaign,” Romney political adviser Russ Schriefer said.

    “What?” replied former Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean. “This ad contains literally no coherent message.” Dean said something else, too, but everybody stopped paying attention because liberals are bad at messaging.

    “The Romney campaign isn’t insulting to Americans,” a GOP aide said on the condition of anonymity. “On the contrary, only the smartest of voters could extract meaning out of the vague, constantly shifting statements Romney has offered them over the last few years. Imagine a 1,000-piece puzzle, and then imagine that the pieces don’t really fit together. I’d sure respect anyone who could face down that challenge and conclude, ‘Yeah, I’ll vote for that.’ ”

  14. pdgrey says:

    Rachel is killing in the CRS!

  15. pdgrey says:

    comment on Dick Morris
    “I originally predicted Custer to win at Little Big Horn, but it would appear that a lot of Indians are now appearing. That is troublesome.”