Federal Observers to Monitor Election in Sheriff Joe’s County
By Andrew Ramonas | March 7, 2022 5:04 pm

The Justice Department again will keep an eye out for voter intimidation Tuesday in Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s Maricopa County in Arizona.

The DOJ will deploy federal monitors from the Office of Personnel Management to polling places across the county during its municipal elections on Tuesday to verify the county’s compliance with the Voting Rights Act, which forbids discrimination in elections based on an individual’s color, race or language. The county must aid voters in Spanish and O’odham, an American Indian language.

The DOJ has previously dispatched its own personnel to the county to monitor elections, most recently during the 2010 general election. But this is the first time DOJ has sent federal observers from the Office of Personnel Management to Maricopa County to monitor an election.  In the 2010 general election, federal observers and DOJ personnel were deployed to more than two dozen counties across the country.

Yvonne Reed, a spokeswoman for the Maricopa County elections office, told Main Justice that the county is ready to provide the federal observers with the necessary identification when they arrive.

“We’re just waiting for them to show up,” Reed said.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio

Sheriff Joe Arpaio (Immigrationclearinghouse.org)

The county has been in the national spotlight for Arpaio’s controversial efforts to root out illegal immigrants. The DOJ filed a lawsuit against Arpaio in September, saying the sheriff didn’t cooperate with an investigation into allegations that his department singles out Hispanics.

Arpaio, who has rebuffed claims that he uses racial profiling, has said he was caught off guard by the lawsuit. He has said that he thought the DOJ and his lawyers were close to a deal prior to the announcement of the lawsuit.

“I’m not going to be intimidated by the federal government going to court against us,” Arpaio said in September, according to The New York Times.

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