Washington, Nov 5 (EFE).- The US Department of Justice announced Monday that it is implementing a series of measures to safeguard the right to vote, especially for minorities, and to avoid election fraud in the midterm balloting this week.
Among these measures, the US government will set up several telephone numbers voters can call to make complaints about election fraud in Tuesday’s vote, although complaints can also be made by fax, e-mail and on the DOJ’s Web page.
The government also urged citizens to directly inform local authorities about any potential crimes.
The DOJ noted that state and municipal governments are responsible for managing local elections, while the department’s Civil Rights Division is tasked with implementing federal laws regarding the right to vote.
To carry out this task, the Civil Rights Division will send personnel to 35 jurisdictions in 19 of the 50 states.
US Attorney General Jeff Sessions said that he will focus DOJ resources on guaranteeing that people’s right to vote is protected.
“Voting rights are constitutional rights, and they’re part of what it means to be an American,” Sessions said in a statement. “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.”
“Likewise, fraud in the voting process will not be tolerated,” the AG added. “Fraud also corrupts the integrity of the ballot.”
Another of the Civil Rights Division’s missions will be to gather information about assorted things, including whether voters are being targeted with certain electoral requirements based on race, color or belonging to minority-language groups.
Specifically, the Division will ensure that the “jurisdictions” properly implement the 1965 Voting Rights Act’s measures relating to minorities.
That law was prepared to guarantee that African Americans could exercise their right to vote in the South, where they had been facing broad restrictions.
In 2013, the Supreme Court overturned a key portion of that law, thus freeing nine states, mostly in the South, to change their election laws without advance federal approval, the 5-4 high court majority contending that such protections for minorities were no longer necessary.