Attorney General Eric Holder had the time to make sure that he and his team could be in California, New Mexico, South Dakota and Wisconsin last Tuesday to monitor elections for discrimination or civil rights violations. Sadly they could not get around to doing the same thing in Philadelphia when the Black Panthers were intimidating white voters during the 2008 election.
The Justice Department had announced that it would monitor the June 5th elections on June 4, 2012, in the following jurisdictions to ensure compliance with the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and other federal voting rights statutes: Alameda, Fresno and Riverside Counties, Calif.; Cibola and Sandoval Counties, N.M.; Shannon County, S.D.; and the city of Milwaukee.
The Voting Rights Act prohibits discrimination in the election process on the basis of race, color or membership in a minority language group. In addition, the act requires certain covered jurisdictions to provide language assistance during the election process.
Under the Voting Rights Act, the Justice Department is authorized to ask the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to send federal observers to jurisdictions that are certified by the attorney general or by a federal court order. Federal observers were to be assigned to monitor polling place activities in Shannon County based on the attorney general’s certification and in Alameda, Riverside and Sandoval Counties based on court orders. The observers watched and recorded activities during voting hours at polling locations in these jurisdictions, and Civil Rights Division attorneys were available to coordinate the federal activities and maintain contact with local election officials.
In addition to the ‘language’ language of the DOJ’s memo they also cite that “hundreds” of federal observers from the Office of Personnel Management, or we know them better as government workers, to monitor elections across the country. First, the elections are held in state and as such should be monitored by the state, not the federal government. Second, just how much is the deployment of hundreds of these “observers” costing taxpayers? It makes you wonder if it is actually being used to protect rights or commit voter fraud. Inquiring minds would like to know.