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Federal authorities to monitor polling places in three Minnesota jurisdictions on Election Day

Three Minnesota jurisdictions will be monitored by the Department of Justice as part of a wider effort to ensure voters' civil rights are granted in 64 jurisdictions across 24 states.

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Dave Wallis / The Forum
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MINNEAPOLIS — The Department of Justice will be on location at polling places in two Minnesota counties on Tuesday in an effort to monitor compliance with federal voting rights laws for the Nov. 8 general election.

According to a Monday evening news release, federal authorities will monitor activity at various precincts in Minneapolis, as well as in Hennepin and Ramsey counties.

It's not the first time that federal authorities will be keeping an eye over precincts, however. Since the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the Civil Rights Division has regularly monitored elections in the field in jurisdictions around the country to protect the rights of voters.

With respect to Tuesday's tasks, the Civil Rights Division will seek any irregularities in how the elections are conducted while also investigating any complaints received from members of the public, as the division is tasked with enforcing all federal voting rights laws that protect citizens' access to the ballot.

Monitors will include personnel from both the Civil Rights Division and U.S. Attorneys’ Offices. In addition, the division also deploys monitors from the Office of Personnel Management, where authorized by federal court order. Division personnel will also maintain contact with state and local election officials.

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The monitoring process isn't unique to Minnesota in this election cycle, either. As part of a wider effort, authorities with the Civil Rights Division will be monitoring Election Day activities in 64 jurisdictions across 24 states. They include: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin.

The Department of Justice said any complaints from the public related to possible violations of federal voting rights laws should be directed to an online complaint form or can be called in at 800-253-3931.

Complaints related to disruption at a polling place, however, should always be reported immediately to local election officials (including officials in the polling place).

Complaints related to violence, threats of violence or intimidation at a polling place should be reported immediately to local police authorities by calling 911. These complaints should also be reported to the department after local authorities have been contacted.

    A South Dakota native, Hunter joined Forum Communications Company as a reporter for the Mitchell (S.D.) Republic in June 2021 and now works as a digital reporter for Forum News Service, focusing on regional news that impacts the Dakotas, Minnesota and Wisconsin.
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