Staff from the U.S. Justice Department will monitor the proceedings at seven locations in Connecticut on Election Day.
DOJ officials said that they will send more than 500 Civil Rights Division staffers to 67 jurisdictions in 28 states on Tuesday. The Associated Press said the number of personnel is less than the roughly 780 monitors and observers who were dispatched in 2012.
While DOJ officials said state and local governments have "primary responsibility for administering elections," the Civil Rights Division staffers will enforce the "federal voting rights laws that protect the rights of all citizens to access the ballot on Election Day."
Civil Rights Division staffers will be present at the following locations in Connecticut:
Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch said the DOJ works to uphold Americans right to vote.
“The bedrock of our democracy is the right to vote, and the Department of Justice works tirelessly to uphold that right not only on Election Day, but every day. We enforce federal statutes related to voting through a range of activities – including filing our own litigation when the facts warrant, submitting statements of interest in private lawsuits to help explain our understanding of these laws, and providing guidance to election officials and the general public about what these laws mean and what they require. On Election Day itself, lawyers in the Civil Rights Division’s Voting Section will staff a hotline starting in the early hours of the morning, and just as we have sent election monitors in prior elections, we will continue to have a robust election monitors program in place on election day. As always, our personnel will perform these duties impartially, with one goal in mind: to see to it that every eligible voter can participate in our elections to the full extent that federal law provides. The department is deeply committed to the fair and unbiased application of our voting rights laws and we will work tirelessly to ensure that every eligible person that wants to do so is able to cast a ballot," Lynch said in a statement on Monday.
Secretary of the State Denise Merrill said they "welcomed" DOJ officials to help with compliance of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Help America Vote Act.
"We have a shared commitment to ensuring voters’ rights are respected and protected. My office worked with the Department of Justice to acquire new ballot-marking devices for voters with disabilities, which will be available at Election Day registration sites. Our understanding is that this is the subject of their interest," Merrill said in a statement on Monday.
Anyone who sees to disruption at a polling place is advised to report it to their local officials.
Anyone who spots possible violations of the federal voting rights laws is asked to call 1-800-253-3931, 202-307-2767 or 202-305-0082. People can also fax complaints to 202-307-3961 or email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For a complaint form, click here.
For more about the Voting Rights Act and other federal voting rights laws, click here.
Copyright 2016 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.