Department of Justice sending election observers into Maricopa County

August 27, 2012

The U.S. Department of Justice has announced it will monitor polling places in Maricopa County for discrimination during Tuesday’s primary election. 

Under the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the Justice Department is authorized to send federal observers into certain jurisdictions -- including Arizona -- to monitor polling locations.

Monday, the department announced it will send observers into Maricopa County to watch for discrimination in the election process on the basis of race, color or membership in a minority language group. The monitors will watch and record what goes on during voting hours.

The Department of Justice is currently in a legal battle with Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, over his alleged pattern of racial discrimination against Latinos. The DOJ is also sending election observers to three cities in Alabama.

The department declined an interview request.

Updated 8-27-12 9:05 a.m.

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