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US Justice Department will monitor election in five Michigan cities

(file photo)
Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio
(file photo)

Elections in five Michigan cities will be under U.S. Justice Department scrutiny.

The Justice Department will be watching how the election proceeds in Detroit, Flint, Grand Rapids, Pontiac, and Southfield.

Those are among the 64 local municipalities in 24 states that federal officials will be monitoring across the country.

Civil Rights Division personnel will be available all day to receive complaints from the public related to possible violations of the federal voting rights laws. Those can be made by phone at 800-253-3931 or with a complaint form on the department’s website.

The Justice Department explained the two aims of its Civil Rights Division. The Voting Section enforces the civil provisions of federal statutes that protect the right to vote. Those include the Voting Rights Act, the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act, the National Voter Registration Act, the Help America Vote Act and the Civil Rights Acts. The division’s Disability Rights Section enforces the Americans with Disabilities Act to ensure that people with disabilities have a full and equal opportunity to vote. The division’s Criminal Section enforces federal criminal statutes that prohibit voter intimidation and voter suppression based on race, color, national origin or religion.

The Justice Department says it’s working to ensure that all qualified voters have the opportunity to cast their ballots and have their votes counted free of discrimination, intimidation, or fraud in the election process.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.