The Justice Department announced it will monitor elections tomorrow in three Alabama towns and Maricopa County, Ariz., to ensure there are no violations of the Voting Rights Act.
The 1965 civil rights law prohibits discrimination at the polls, and it allows the Attorney General to send federal monitors to areas of concern on election day. Observers will be stationed in Lanett, Reform and Phenix City, Ala., in addition to Maricopa County. It is not unusual for the department to send observers on election day, but Maricopa County has been a focus of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division in recent years.
The county, in addition to its sheriff’s office, is currently being sued by the U.S. over allegations of discrimination and civil rights violations in policing against Latinos. The sheriff’s office is led by border hawk Joe Arpaio, who has made waves with his own investigation into the validity of President Barack Obama’s birth certificate. The popular sheriff faces reelection on Aug. 28 in Maricopa County. He has crushed his opponents in fundraising, raking in millions from several out-of-state donors.