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Feds Monitoring Polling Places From Concern For Latinos' Rights

On Friday the Department of Justice announced that Riverside County is one of 17 jurisdictions nationwide that will have federal observers from its Civil Rights Division monitoring polling place activities.

After some complaints were filed with the U.S. Department of Justice regarding Riverside County’s lack of Spanish-speaking poll workers, the county’s Registrar of Voters stepped up – and the impact will be felt on Election Day.

On Friday the DOJ announced that Riverside County is one of 17 jurisdictions nationwide that will have federal observers from its Civil Rights Division monitoring polling place activities.

The idea is to ensure there are no irregularities and that all voters have access to ballot boxes on Election Day. 

The only other California jurisdiction on the list of 17 was Alameda County.

DOJ personnel are also expected to monitor an additional 34 jurisdictions nationwide, but none are in California.

According to Art Tinoco, chief deputy director for the Riverside County Registrar of Voters, his department was not given the names of the groups that filed complaints.

“The Department of Justice did not disclose that information to us,” Tinoco said.

DOJ spokeswoman Dena Iverson declined to release the specific information to Patch.

The process of improving access to the ballot box in Riverside County began in January 2010 when the county entered into an agreement with the DOJ, promising it would meet 26 standards to ensure all citizens have access during federal elections, Tinoco said.

Among the 26 conditions was ensuring that bilingual poll workers are available at polling places that serve a high number of registered voters with Spanish surnames, Tinoco said. In total, the county had to bring on 1,095 bilingual poll workers for this Tuesday’s election or face a costly legal challenge from the DOJ, Tinoco explained.

At press time, the county is short by 13 bilingual poll workers, all in Southwest Riverside County, Tinoco said.

“There are a lot of families in that area and they work,” he said. “They don’t have time to volunteer.”

[Are you bilingual and interested in helping out? Click here for more information.]

Tinoco stressed that any non-English-speaking registered voter should feel comfortable coming to the polls on Tuesday.

“If there’s anyone out there who needs assistance at the polls, we are there to help,” he said.

In the days leading up to and throughout Election Day, Civil Rights Division staff members will be available by telephone to receive complaints related to possible violations of the federal voting rights laws (toll free 1-800-253-3931 or 202-307-2767 or TTY 1-877-267-8971). In addition, individuals may also report such complaints by fax to 202-307-3961, by email to voting.section@usdoj.gov and by a complaint form on the department’s website: www.justice.gov/crt/about/vote/.  

Amy November 03, 2012 at 04:26 AM
I'm having a hard time understanding how there are non-English speaking registered voters if you must be a US citizen to vote...ummm this is another waste of tax payer money!!
On the right side November 03, 2012 at 04:43 AM
Exactly
B. McEntire November 03, 2012 at 07:30 AM
The U.S. does not actually have an official language (not something I personally agree with). Until an official language is declared complaining about non-English speaking citizens is a mute point. Write our Congressmen & Senators with your concerns instead of taking it out on others.
5150 November 03, 2012 at 01:07 PM
How about being concerned with everyones rights not just one ethnics rights, this BS is getting old, Cmon man! Aint you people sick of this !
Vicki November 03, 2012 at 01:45 PM
I agree 5150. Especially since they are new to the country. WTF. That is what needs to be on the ballot. English the official language. Let's vote on that!
Connie Lingus November 03, 2012 at 02:18 PM
Moot
Johnny Darko November 03, 2012 at 02:36 PM
If we DO get it on the ballot and it IS voted into law, the Hispanic groups will take it to court and get it struck down as they have in the past. If you remember Prop 187 was voted in by the voters but struck down by the courts in November 1994. So it does not matter what we want. We have to answer to the ACLU and appointed judges. And no politician wants to carry that banner as he will be tagged as "racist".
mailman November 03, 2012 at 02:38 PM
How about temecula p.d. riverside county sherriff manipulating society for their own personnel benefit. As soon as they know who you are your name your social security where you work what car you drive they can make your life a living hell. Whoever thinks they can manipulate the sherriffs and p.d. to their advantage has another thing coming.When it boils down to it their at the top of the food chain.That incident at spellys is just the beginning, people need to stop being manipulated by your local law enforcment their not helping anymore.
TVOR November 03, 2012 at 08:35 PM
If you don't speak english then you should not be voting, period!
Charlie Pehl November 03, 2012 at 11:34 PM
You have to be a citizen to vote. You must be able to speak English to be a citizen and to vote.
TVOR November 03, 2012 at 11:57 PM
Even if there is no "official" language for this country, there is a "common" language, english, and it is the language in which all public business is conducted. If you wish to participate in public business you should speak the common language.
TVOR November 03, 2012 at 11:59 PM
Charlie, you have to speak english to become a citizen. Those who are citizens simply because they were born on US soil are not required to speak english. Their parents do them a huge disservice if they do not make them learn english.
Dave Francis November 04, 2012 at 07:52 PM
THE EDUCATION TRAVESTY OF CALIFORNIA MEASURES 30 & 38. California is really in crisis with their public school system, because of the never ending unfettered influx of the children of illegal alien parents. It’s like talking to a brick wall in the Sacramento assembly. As usual they want more money for schools, because the schools are overcrowded with illegal alien kids. It’s just an endless conveyor belt of more taxes, to pay for the free education through K-12. I took my son out of the system because his class size was enormous and he wasn’t learning anything. The teacher’s attention was mainly on the progeny of children where English was a second language. I eventually left the state, because the state was overtaxing small business and the California debt was still rising. Once again Los Angeles and the whole state are being held financially hostage by the Democrats in the Capitol. State measures as the so called temporary taxes as 30, for public safety and education are just an absolute travesty. In a similar measure are 38 to fund education and early childhood programs. The California public school system is dominated by a Teachers Union, which votes of corrupt lawmakers in the state assembly. California once had a education second to none, but now it is riddled with rot and 47 in performance. Once a model for all of America, the whole of the illegal alien “Sanctuary State” genuflects to the unions, which has devastated the structure.
Dave Francis November 04, 2012 at 07:53 PM
Of course the state government wants more money, because pregnant illegal alien Mothers smuggle their unborn in through unsuspecting airline routes and across large areas of open borders? Every year this country has to pander to hundreds of thousands of illegal entrants, adding to the 20 million plus already settled here. Forced by the courts we have to pay their living expenses for their children, because of automatic citizenship. President Obama has already condemned us to a rise in his taxes, as his administration will on his arrival back in the Capital will enact a full blanket amnesty for every individual that resides here illegally. I am not going to repeat the costs of the money paid in taxes to keep illegal aliens healthy, to educate their children, to put a section 8 shelter over their heads. The courts have determined that we should keep paying for foreigners, whether we like it or not. As yet there has been no attempt by any administration, in placing this illegal migrant or immigrant before the Supreme Court.
Dave Francis November 04, 2012 at 07:53 PM
When California or any other state is demanding more money from taxpayers to pay for education of the influx of foreigners, then we should adamantly say NO to either measure 30 or 38. This situation is incredulous that illegal aliens can come here, with their offspring, whether conceived or not and the courts say we must be taxed, to pay for their welfare? The insurmountable problem is that this enigma is sees no light at the end of the tunnel. More taxes to pay for more Teachers. The Tea Party has a straight forward answer and that is a simple amendment to the 14th Amendment? THAT NO CHILD BORN TO A PARENT WHO IS NOT AN AMERICAN CITIZEN, CAN NO LONGER BECOME A U.S. AUTOMATICALLY. This will save the taxpayer over a hundred billion dollars annually and justifiably stop the never ending drain on state treasuries. With no foothold baby the parents can then be deported out the country, with the child and the schools can get down to educating our own. ALL PRUDENT AMERICANS SHOULD GET BEHIND “THE BIRTHRIGHT CITIZENSHIP LAW” and save billions of your tax dollars.
Dave Francis November 04, 2012 at 07:54 PM
While you about it, demand from all reluctant politicians that they vote for “THE LEGAL WORKFORCE ACT” That will make E-Verify a mandatory federal law that will begin the repatriation of illegal workers. If this law is passed from Washington, instead of a muddled mix of E-Verify across the 50 states, then people here illegally will begin to self deport. If ICE enforces this law with prosecutions of huge fines and prison, the unconcerned employers will be very leery of hiring foreign labor. Remember that the TEA PARTY is for both of these laws and will vote for them in the Congress. Unlike what the Liberal press declares the TEA PARTY is alive and well, with a growing membership of 41 million voters. They have crafted their agenda by gaining recognition in the Republican Party and as a moderate Conservative foundation, will have momentous influence in the coming four years. In both the Senate and House of Representatives they will not accept the tax and spend of the democrats, and will revise the rulings of the U.S. Constitution.
Dave Francis November 04, 2012 at 07:55 PM
According to reports thousands of officials will be out in force to guard against voter fraud. The problem as I see it, is how do they detect election irregularities when individuals are transported in from other counties to another where they once lived as the voter rolls may not have been purged or the easiest and simple serious shenanigans using the absentee ballot? It should be recognized that illegal aliens are going to be on the chopping block if Obama doesn’t win? Therefore, my opinion is that foreign nationals and other non citizens have much to lose, so they are likely to caste an illegal vote? In tight or close races especially in swing states, these will be a predominant hit, as this could change the direction of the election?
On the right side November 05, 2012 at 02:48 AM
YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO BE ABLE TO READ AND WRITE ENGLISH BEFORE YOU CAN BECOME A CITIZEN!!! ONLY CITIZENS ARE ALLOWED TO VOTE!!!! THERE SHOULD NOT BE ANY NON-ENGLISH SPEAKING VOTERS!!!!!! WHAT IS HARD TO UNDERSTAND!!!!!!!!

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