WASHINGTON, D.C. – The United States Department of Justice will have a close eye on polling places in Middlesex County on Tuesday.

The Civil Rights Division will “monitor compliance with the federal voting rights laws by deploying personnel” polling places within the county, according to a Justice Department press release.   

“Voting rights are constitutional rights, and they’re part of what it means to be an American,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in the release. “The Department of Justice has been entrusted with an indispensable role in securing these rights for the people of this nation.  This year we are using every lawful tool that we have, both civil and criminal, to protect the rights of millions of Americans to cast their vote unimpeded at one of more than 170,000 precincts across America.  Citizens of America control this country through their selection of their governmental officials at the ballot box. Likewise, fraud in the voting process will not be tolerated. Fraud also corrupts the integrity of the ballot.”

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While state and local governments are responsible for administering the election, the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice ensures voter’s rights are protected. The division has regularly monitored polling places across the country every year since the passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1965, the press release said.

According to the press release, the Civil Rights Division will gather information on  whether voters are subject to different voting qualifications or procedures on the basis of race, color or membership in a language minority group, if people with disabilities are provided the opportunity to have someone of their choice assist them in the voting booths, voter registration lists meet the requirements of the National Voter Registration Act and whether provisional ballot requirements from the Help America Vote Act are being followed.

On Election Day, the Division staff members will be available all day by telephone to receive complaints from the public related to possible violations of the federal voting rights laws (1-800-253-3931 toll free or 202-307-2767 or TTY 202-305-0082).  In addition, individuals may also report complaints by fax to 202-307-3961, by email to voting.section@usdoj.gov(link sends e-mail), and by a complaint form on the Department’s website: www.justice.gov/crt/votercomplaint.

Disruption at polling places should be made to the local election officials at your local polling place, while violence or threats of violence should be immediately reported to local police by calling 911.