Federal Government To Send Election Monitors To Harris, Dallas And Waller Counties | KERA News

Federal Government To Send Election Monitors To Harris, Dallas And Waller Counties

Nov 7, 2016

The U.S. Department of Justice announced Monday it would be placing election monitors in Harris, Dallas and Waller counties for the general election. 

The department regularly monitors elections to protect the rights of voters, but its announcement comes about a week after Texas civil rights advocates expressed concern over reports of poll workers throughout the state sharing inaccurate or incomplete polling information about the state's modified voter ID law. 

“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,” U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said in a statement.  “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."

The department's Civil Rights Division plans to deploy more than 500 personnel to 67 jurisdictions in 28 states to monitor the polls on Election Day. The Civil Rights Division is charged with enforcing the federal voting rights laws across the country, according to the department.

In July, a federal appeals court ruled that Texas' 2011 voter ID law was discriminatory. In August, U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos ordered that voters who possess one of the forms of photo ID accepted under the law must show it at the polls to vote but that those who don't can still vote if they sign a declaration stating a "reasonable impediment" prevented them from obtaining one and present proof of residence.

The Texas Tribune provided this story.