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Justice Department To Monitor Port Chester Elections

Officials from the U.S. Department of Justice will monitor Port Chester's election Tuesday to ensure compliance with the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Officials from the U.S. Department of Justice will monitor Port Chester's election Tuesday to ensure compliance with the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Photo Credit: Anna Helhoski, file

PORT CHESTER, N.Y. -- The U.S. Department of Justice will monitor Port Chester's election Tuesday to ensure compliance with the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the department announced Monday.

Federal observers will monitor polling places and watch and record activities during voting hours to ensure compliance with the Voting Rights Act, which is designed to prohibit discrimination based on race, color or membership in a minority group. Civil rights attorneys will coordinate with the federal activities and maintain contact with local election officials.

In 2008 a federal district court found that Port Chester's election methods violated the Voting Rights Act and prevented Hispanic voters from participating. Port Chester is required to provide assistance in Spanish. In 2009 the Justice Department and Port Chester entered into an agreement that the village would provide cumulative voting, with extensive voter education and training to ensure that voters are familiar with cumulative voting. Bilingual officials must be present at every polling place, and all voting information must be translated into Spanish.

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