FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE MONDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 1994

CR (202) 616-2765 TDD (202) 514-1888

JUSTICE DEPARTMENT TO DISPATCH FEDERAL OFFICIALS ACROSS THE COUNTRY TO MONITOR TOMORROW'S ELECTIONS WASHINGTON, D.C. -- In an effort to protect the integrity of the voting process and to prevent the intimidation of minority voters across the country, the Justice Department will dispatch over 200 federal officials to 11 states for tomorrow's elections. Some 216 federal observers will monitor polling sites in six states -- Arizona, Georgia, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, and Utah -- to detect possible voting rights violations. Another seven federal officials will be stationed in five other states -Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Texas -- to receive voting rights complaints. Under the Voting Rights Act, which protects the rights of Americans to participate in the electoral process, the Justice Department is authorized to send federal observers to areas that are specially covered in the Act. In New York, 29 federal observers will obtain information from polling sites in New York and Kings Counties to determine whether Chinese-language voters are receiving effective language assistance. In August, the Justice Department approved procedures under which New York would translate the ballots, provide translators at the polls, and recruit and train Chinese-language poll workers. In Georgia, five federal observers will watch activities in Taliaferro County, where voters will chose between an African American and a white candidate in a special election for the Board of Commissioners. Previous elections were marred by events that impeded full black participation in the electoral process such as denying black voters their right to be assisted by persons of their choice. In North Carolina, interracial contests for three positions on the Edgecombe County commission and for the clerkship of the Superior Court will be monitored by 45 observers. In previous elections some voters alleged that they were provided with the wrong ballot. In New Mexico, 56 federal observers will monitor polling locations in Cibola, McKinley, Sandoval and Socorro Counties. All four counties operate under settlements stemming from Justice Department suits. The settlements require the counties to provide effective language assistance to Native Americans at the polls. In Arizona, 63 federal observers will assess the efforts of Apache and Navajo Counties to implement a similar agreement requiring effective language assistance for Native Americans, such as translating voting information. In Utah, 18 federal observers will monitor the efforts of San Juan County to comply with a similar settlement stemming from a Justice Department suit. The settlement requires the county to interpret voting information for Native Americans at the polls. The 216 observers, most of whom are employees of the Office of

Personnel Management, will watch and record activities during voting hours at the polling locations and in some cases during the counting of votes. An additional 22 Justice Department officials will coordinate federal activities in the various counties. In addition to the steps being taken with respect to minority voters under the Voting Rights Act, the Justice Department also will take steps to protect against possible voting irregularities at the polls. In a statement issued last week, Attorney General Janet Reno said that every United States Attorneys Office throughout the nation and the FBI will establish units to receive reports of corrupt voting practices and investigate any voting rights complaints. To report any possible election crimes, voters should contact the United States Attorneys office in their area. To lodge complaints about discriminatory voting practices, voters may call examiners situated in the following locations: ALABAMA Selma, Alabama (205) 974-4299 ARIZONA Window Rock, Arizona (602) 871-4134, 4135 GEORGIA Atlanta, Georgia (404) 331-3468 LOUISIANA New Orleans, Louisiana (504) 589-2768 MISSISSIPPI Greenwood, Mississippi (601) 453-5020 NEW MEXICO Grants, New Mexico (505) 285-6952, 6948 NEW YORK New York, New York (212) 264-4890 (Chinese Language) NORTH CAROLINA Tarboro, North Carolina (919) 641-2779, 4554 New York, New York (212) 264-9906 (Spanish Language) Jackson, Mississippi (601) 353-4959 Crawfordville, Georgia (706) 456-2558, 2568 Montgomery, Alabama (205) 832-1984

SOUTH CAROLINA Columbia, South Carolina (803) 253-3400 TEXAS Dallas, Texas (214) 767-0561 UTAH Bluff, Utah (801) 672-2321, 2278 # # # 94-645