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September 14, 2004:

The Honorable Joseph I. Lieberman:
Ranking Minority Member:
Committee on Governmental Affairs:
United States Senate:

The Honorable Henry A. Waxman:
Ranking Minority Member:
Committee on Government Reform:
House of Representatives:

The Honorable John Conyers, Jr.
Ranking Minority Member:
Committee on the Judiciary:
House of Representatives:

Subject: Department of Justice's Activities to Address Past Election-
Related Voting Irregularities:

Election-day problems in Florida and elsewhere in November 2000 raised 
concerns about voting systems that included, among other things, 
alleged voting irregularities that may have affected voter access to 
the polls. The term voting irregularities generally refers to a broad 
array of complaints relating to voting and/or elections that may 
involve violations of federal voting rights and/or federal criminal law 
for which the Department of Justice (DOJ) has enforcement 
responsibilities.

You requested that we review activities at DOJ to help ensure voter 
access to the polls and actions to address allegations of voting 
irregularities. This report (1) identifies and describes changes DOJ 
has made since November 2000 to help ensure voter access to the polls; 
(2) identifies and describes actions that the Voting Section in DOJ's 
Civil Rights Division has taken to track, address, and assess 
allegations of election-related[Footnote 1] voting irregularities 
received between November 2000 and December 2003; and (3) assesses the 
Voting Section's internal control[Footnote 2] activities to help ensure 
relevant, accurate, and reliable recording and documentation of 
allegations of voting irregularities to accurately track actions taken 
in response to allegations and provide accurate and complete 
information to the public and congressional committees.

We primarily performed our work at DOJ's Civil Rights Division, Voting 
Section. We obtained relevant documentation and interviewed responsible 
officials regarding DOJ's activities to help ensure voter access to the 
polls. To identify and describe changes made since November 2000, we 
reviewed documentation on DOJ's efforts to monitor and observe 
elections, increase emphasis on enforcement of minority language and 
overseas voters' rights, disseminate election-related guidance, and 
increase its resources to address voting issues. To identify and 
describe actions that the Voting Section took to track, address, and 
assess allegations of voting irregularities, we reviewed telephone logs 
and 34 files with information on a preliminary investigation, matters, 
and cases that the Voting Section considered to be election-related 
voting irregularities initiated from November 2000 to December 2003. To 
assess the Voting Section's internal controls, we obtained available 
documentation of policies, procedures, and techniques the Voting 
Section has to manage allegations of voting irregularities and 
considered them in relation to GAO's internal control standards. We 
also interviewed officials and obtained documentation from DOJ's 
Criminal Division, Public Integrity Section (PIN), in relation to the 
coordination between the Voting Section and PIN to address voter access 
to the polls.

On August 31, 2004, we provided your staffs a briefing document on the 
results of our work. Enclosure I contains the materials we presented at 
that time. Our audit work was performed in Washington, D.C., from May 
2003 through August 2004 in accordance with generally accepted 
government auditing standards.

Background:

The Voting Section in the Civil Rights Division is charged with the 
responsibility of enforcing federal voting rights statutes that are 
designed to safeguard the right to vote of racial and language 
minorities; disabled, elderly, and illiterate persons; and military and 
overseas voters, among others. The Voting Section is also charged with 
the responsibility of enforcing federal statutes that, among other 
things, address issues such as voter registration, provisional voting, 
and voter information. Provisional voting permits eligible persons to 
vote on election day if their names are not on voter registration 
lists, with the understanding that each person's eligibility will be 
verified after the election and their votes counted, if eligible. (See 
enc. I, and attach. I, for more information on statutes that the Voting 
Section enforces.)

The Voting Section, among other things, monitors election-day 
activities to ensure voting rights are protected and initiates 
investigations and opens matters--an activity that has not resulted in 
a court filing of a complaint, indictment, or information--to examine 
allegations of voting irregularities that fall within the jurisdiction 
of the Civil Rights Division. If warranted, a matter may culminate in a 
case--an activity that has resulted in the filing of a complaint, 
indictment, or information with a federal court. The Voting Section 
also may initiate matters to monitor private lawsuits. Voting Section 
attorneys are generally responsible for conducting investigations and 
prosecuting cases.

The Voting Section also coordinates with PIN to refer allegations the 
Voting Section receives that involve violations of criminal statutes 
related to voting fraud. For example, in relation to the 2002 federal 
election, the Voting Section referred three matters deemed to be 
potential violations of criminal laws to PIN, which assumed 
responsibility for the investigations. In addition, the Voting Section 
and PIN have provided joint training to Assistant U.S. Attorneys, with 
the Voting Section presenting information about civil rights statutes 
that are to protect the right to vote and PIN presenting information 
about criminal statutes that are to prevent election fraud.

Results:

Since November 2000, DOJ has implemented changes to help ensure voter 
access to the polls. The Voting Section emphasized the importance of 
its monitoring of election-day activities and increased its monitoring 
of these activities. In 2000, DOJ attorneys and professional staff 
monitored elections in 5 counties in 5 states. By 2002, the number of 
election jurisdictions monitored by DOJ attorneys and professional 
staff increased to 19 counties in 10 states, with monitoring of 
elections in counties in Florida accounting for the bulk of the 
increase. The Voting Section also (1) placed a greater priority on 
protecting the voting rights of language minority voters by helping to 
ensure that certain covered jurisdictions provided bilingual voting 
materials for elections; (2) placed a priority on enforcing and 
preparing for compliance with the federal statute to help ensure voting 
rights of overseas voters; (3) provided additional training to 
Assistant U.S. Attorneys on civil rights statutes to educate them about 
voters' rights; and (4) provided guidance to states regarding the 
implementation of sections of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA) 
that DOJ enforces.[Footnote 3] For example, the Voting Section provided 
guidance to states by issuing a press release that outlined provisions 
of HAVA that took effect on January 1, 2004, such as provisional voting 
and identification requirements for new voters who register by mail.

The Attorney General directed the Civil Rights Division to work with 
civil rights leaders, state and local election officials, and U.S. 
Attorney Offices prior to election day in an effort to help ensure that 
citizens' voting rights are protected. The Attorney General also 
directed the Criminal Division to work with these same groups in 
helping to preserve ballot integrity and prevent election offenses. 
Almost all of the U.S. Attorney Offices reported that they had 
contacted various state or local officials prior to the November 2002 
election. Voting Section officials reported that the Assistant Attorney 
General for the Civil Rights Division and staff from that division met 
with various civil rights organizations.

According to Voting Section officials, DOJ plans to help ensure voter 
access for the upcoming November 2004 election include increasing its 
monitoring of elections, coordinating with civil rights organizations, 
and establishing procedures for bringing the concerns of civil rights 
organizations about specific issues or jurisdictions to DOJ on or 
before election day in November 2004. Voting Section officials also 
said that final decisions as to where monitoring will be conducted are 
not made public until shortly before an election. (See enc. I for more 
information.)

The Voting Section has used several means of tracking allegations of 
voting irregularities and the Section's actions with regard to those 
allegations. First, the Voting Section used telephone logs to track 
telephone calls regarding allegations of voting irregularities it 
received related to the November 2000 and 2002 elections. According to 
the Voting Section, contractors were hired to help handle the 
unprecedented number of calls that were received concerning the 
November 2000 election situation to help ensure that the public would 
be able to voice opinions and concerns. Second, DOJ tracks matters and 
cases through its Interactive Case Management (ICM) system--its formal 
process for tracking and managing work activities. Prior to opening a 
matter, the Voting Section may make a determination that an allegation 
does not fall within DOJ's jurisdiction or may initiate a preliminary 
investigation about an allegation. Third, the Voting Section tracked 
monitoring of elections using logs and for some election-monitoring 
activities they opened matters; thus, it has not routinely tracked 
election-monitoring activities through the ICM system. (See enc. I for 
more information.)

Actions that Voting Section attorneys took to address allegations of 
voting irregularities initiated from November 2000 to December 2003 
included contacting cognizant election officials at the state and local 
levels; obtaining data as appropriate; interviewing voters affected by 
alleged voting irregularities; meeting with minority groups; and 
assessing the merits of the allegations to determine what, if any, 
further action was needed. Attorneys in the Voting Section addressed 
allegations of voting irregularities by first determining whether the 
allegations were related to violations of federal civil rights statutes 
and then, if warranted, initiating a preliminary investigation or 
matter to determine whether an allegation had merit. If warranted, a 
matter may culminate in a case that is filed with a federal court. We 
reviewed files for 1 closed preliminary investigation, 25 closed 
matters, and 8 open and closed cases that the Voting Section considered 
election-related. The preliminary investigation and 13 matters were 
closed because they lacked merit. The remaining 12 matters were closed 
because the state or voting jurisdiction took action to remedy an 
issue, a state court issued an order addressing the issue, the voting 
jurisdiction implemented changes for future elections, or Voting 
Section attorneys provided election officials feedback following the 
on-site monitoring of elections. Six cases remain open pending 
fulfillment of consent decrees entered into on behalf of DOJ and the 
jurisdiction in alleged violation of federal statute, and two cases 
were closed because states had taken action in response to consent 
decrees. Enclosure I and attachment IV provide detailed information on 
actions taken regarding selected matters and cases that the Voting 
Section considered as involving election-related voting irregularities 
initiated from November 2000 to December 2003.

Regarding internal controls, we found that the Voting Section did not 
have a reliable method to consistently record and document telephone 
calls received alleging voting irregularities. According to Voting 
Section officials, the number of calls received following the November 
2000 election far exceeded the number received in past elections. As a 
result, the Voting Section used a contractor to assist in handling the 
telephone calls. To track some of the telephone calls related to the 
November 2000 election, Voting Section and contractor staff used 
telephone logs that had several broad categories to capture the subject 
of the allegation, rows for states from which the calls originated and, 
for the most part, tabulated the numbers of calls using tick marks. 
Voting Section staff also kept two other types of logs to record some 
telephone calls, which included columns to record a caller's name, 
state, telephone number, and description of the call. Our analysis of 
the contractor telephone logs found, among other things, that these 
logs did not include a way to record calls from 4 states--Arkansas, 
Kansas, Montana, and North Dakota. According to Voting Section 
officials, these 4 states were left off the contractor logs 
inadvertently, although these officials noted that they were unaware of 
any calls received from these states. Our analysis of logs that Voting 
Section staff completed found that Voting Section staff recorded having 
received calls from some of these states. The Voting Section improved 
upon the telephone log for the November 2002 election by having one log 
that consistently provided for documenting the caller's name, telephone 
number, and action taken. Compared with the telephone log that 
contractor staff maintained and one of the three types of logs that 
Voting Section staff maintained after the November 2000 election, which 
had several columns to broadly categorize the subject of the telephone 
calls, the November 2002 log included one column to capture the subject 
of the telephone calls. The Voting Section plans to take several 
actions to address voting irregularities for the November 2004 
election, including, among other things, using a telephone log similar 
to the one used for the November 2002 election. The Voting Section did 
not provide written instructions to contractors for completing the 
telephone logs related to the 2000 election. However, for the November 
2002 federal election, the Voting Section provided instructions to DOJ 
staff for how to handle calls from citizens, the press, members of 
Congress, and others. In addition to its method for recording and 
documenting telephone calls received regarding voting irregularities, 
we found that the Voting Section did not routinely track its election-
monitoring activities through its ICM system. The Voting Section said 
that it has plans to assign one identification number to track these 
activities in the future. (See enc. I for more information.)

In conclusion, lack of specifics about allegations and actions limits 
DOJ's ability to have accurate and clear information to share with the 
public or Congress about the types of allegations received and actions 
taken. Predictions of another close presidential election in November 
2004 combined with possible voter confusion over new requirements in 
the Help America Vote Act--such as the implementation of provisional 
voting in states that had not previously used provisional voting--and 
possible questions regarding voting equipment could result in the 
Voting Section again receiving a very large number of telephone calls. 
This could result in the need to use contractors to record voter 
allegations because much of the Voting Section staff will be monitoring 
election sites on election day. It is important that the information 
collected be as complete, accurate, and specific as possible regarding 
specific allegations. If the Voting Section collects more precise 
information about voter allegations, it is in a better position to 
assure the public that it has addressed allegations of voting 
irregularities. Moreover, if it documents actions taken more precisely, 
it is better able to reassure the public and Congress of its commitment 
to enforce federal voting rights statutes.

The Voting Section emphasized the importance of its monitoring of 
election-day activities, but the monitoring program has not been 
routinely tracked in the Voting Section's ICM system. We believe the 
significance of this program warrants a more formal tracking of 
monitoring efforts and resources dedicated to the program to allow for 
reliable, relevant, and timely information for management decision 
making and for external reporting purposes.

Recommendations for Executive Action:

Confidence in our election processes is of utmost importance. To help 
ensure confidence in the integrity of voting processes, the Voting 
Section plays an important role in addressing voting irregularities. By 
accurately recording and documenting its activities in as clear a 
manner as possible, the Voting Section contributes to assuring the 
public and Congress of the integrity of our voting processes and that 
allegations of voting irregularities have been addressed.

To reassure citizens of the integrity of our election processes and to 
reassure the public and Congress of DOJ's commitment to its 
responsibility to enforce federal voting rights statutes, we recommend 
that the Attorney General direct the Chief of the Voting Section to 
take the following two actions:

* develop and implement procedures for the November 2004 election to 
help ensure that the Voting Section has a reliable method of tracking 
and documenting allegations of voting irregularities and actions taken 
to address them. Procedures could include more precise categories to 
record types of allegations and actions taken; development of 
instructions on completing the telephone logs; and development and 
implementation of training for contractors, should they be needed; and:

* implement a method to track and report on election-monitoring 
activities in the ICM system.

Agency Comments:

We provided a draft of this report to DOJ for review and comment. The 
draft report sent to DOJ for comment reflected changes made as a result 
of DOJ's prior detailed review of attachment IV in enclosure I and 
changes DOJ requested in writing following our exit conference with 
them. In commenting on the draft, DOJ generally agreed with the report 
and recommendations. The Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the 
Civil Rights Division accepted both recommendations and said that the 
Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division has directed 
their implementation.

In commenting on our recommendation for the Civil Rights Division to 
track and report on election-monitoring activities in the ICM system, 
DOJ noted that it currently has procedures that effectively track 
election-monitoring activities. Our report acknowledges that the 
Division had information on election monitoring. However, the Voting 
Section told us that they did not routinely track election-monitoring 
activities in the ICM system--its formal process for tracking and 
managing work activities. Because we had asked for clarification of the 
confusing and unclear information previously provided on election 
monitoring and tracking, the Civil Rights Division, in a May 25, 2004, 
written response provided clarifying information that explained the 
different databases and data from logs that were used to capture 
information on election monitoring. In this written response, the Civil 
Rights Division included four charts on election monitoring that had 
been recently created, one for each calendar year from 2000 through 
2003 (but not for 2004, as the Division states it did). In addition, 
the Civil Rights Division said that it had asked for a program that 
would provide the types of reports and data that the Division is 
routinely asked to provide regarding the election-monitoring program. 
Our recommendation is directed toward improving the Voting Section's 
tracking of election-monitoring activities, which the Voting Section 
has emphasized as being a very important part of its efforts to help 
ensure voter access to the polls. Tracking election-monitoring 
activities in the ICM system would ensure that this important component 
of the Voting Section's work is incorporated into the Division's formal 
process for tracking and managing work activities.

After we provided DOJ with a copy of the draft report that included 
this correspondence and its enclosure for review and comment, Civil 
Rights Division officials realized they had not provided us with 
information on all of the telephone logs used following the November 
2000 election. The Civil Rights Division subsequently provided that 
additional information, which showed that Voting Section staff used two 
additional types of logs for the November 2000 election. These logs 
included columns to record callers' names, telephone numbers, states, 
and descriptions of the calls. This new information was incorporated 
into our report to accurately reflect the Voting Section's activities 
to track telephone calls following the November 2000 election. (See p. 
5 in this letter and p. 42 in enc. I.) According to the Civil Rights 
Division, the November 2002 log, which it proposes as the basis for 
documenting telephone calls related to the upcoming November 2004 
elections, was the only one used by Voting Section staff for the 
November 2002 election.

DOJ noted that the draft report discussion of the Civil Rights 
Division's use of telephone logs focused almost exclusively on the logs 
maintained by contractors, that the draft report failed to note that 
these logs were only a small portion of all the records of telephone 
calls received by the Division, and that any shortcomings in these logs 
were extremely unlikely to have changed the course of subsequent 
investigations. As we note in our report, it was difficult to obtain 
precise information on the number of calls or the specific nature of 
alleged irregularities from the telephone logs on the November 2000 
election. The information that the Voting Section collected on its 
telephone logs was not precise enough to support the Division's 
statements that upwards of 95 percent of the calls received regarding 
the November 2000 election reflected citizen frustration or anger over 
the election, that the vast majority of the calls that contractors 
received came from New York and California, or that the vast majority 
of the calls from those two states expressed frustration over the 
situation in Florida. Moreover, it is important to note that our 
recommendation with regard to recording complaints about voting 
irregularities for the November 2004 election is based on the 
limitations of the log used in November 2002 and the lack of a clear 
plan for accurately recording a potentially large volume of complaints 
that may arise from the November 2004 election. For example, November 
2004 will be the first national election in which all states will be 
implementing HAVA's new voter identification and provisional voting 
requirements with which many voters may be unfamiliar.

In its comments, DOJ said that the Civil Rights Division invited us to 
meet with Voting Section staff who worked during the time of the 
November 2000 election and that we declined this invitation. We did not 
receive an invitation from officials in the Civil Rights Division, who 
arranged our meetings with Voting Section staff, to meet to discuss the 
November 2000 election logs. Throughout this review, we requested 
meetings with Voting Section and Civil Rights Division officials. It is 
always our preference, as part of our work, to meet with agency 
officials to discuss issues and questions we may have about agency 
processes, procedures, and documentation. However, Civil Rights 
Division officials preferred that we provide questions in writing and 
to respond to those questions in writing. The Civil Rights Division 
sometimes took weeks to respond in writing, which contributed 
significantly to the length of time it took us to complete our review. 
Had Civil Rights Division officials been more willing to meet with us 
to explain the Voting Section's processes and discuss the documentation 
provided to us, rather than rely on written questions and responses, 
the time required for this review could have been significantly 
reduced.

DOJ's written comments are in attachment V. DOJ also provided technical 
comments from the Criminal Division's Public Integrity Section and from 
the Civil Rights Division, which we incorporated as appropriate. The 
Civil Rights Division provided additional information on cases 
initiated for calendar years 2002, 2003, and 2004. The 2002 and 2003 
cases involved enforcement under Sections 2 and 208 of the Voting 
Rights Act and were not clearly identifiable in the ICM system as also 
involving language minority issues under Section 203 of the Voting 
Rights Act. The Civil Rights Division subsequently identified these 
cases as including enforcement of language minority violations, and we 
have included them in our report. Information on cases initiated in 
calendar year 2004 had not been included because our review covered 
complete calendar years, but we have added information on cases 
initiated in 2004 as of August 2004 as a courtesy to the Division.

As agreed with your offices, unless you publicly release its contents 
earlier, we plan no further distribution of this report until 30 days 
from its issue date. At that time, we will send copies of this report 
to the Attorney General, Department of Justice; Chairman, Senate 
Committee on Governmental Affairs; Chairman, House Committee on 
Government Reform; Chairman, House Committee on the Judiciary; Chairman 
and Ranking Minority Member, House Committee on House Administration; 
and Chairman and Ranking Minority Member, Senate Committee on Rules and 
Administration. Copies of this report will be made available to other 
interested parties upon request. This report will also be available on 
GAO's Web site at http://www.gao.gov. If you have any questions, please 
contact me at (202) 512-8777 or by e-mail at jenkinswo@gao.gov or Linda 
Watson, Assistant Director, at (202) 512-8685 or by e-mail at 
watsonl@gao.gov. Key contributors to this report were Katherine Davis, 
Gina Flacco, Evan Gilman, Geoffrey Hamilton, Mary Martin, Maria Santos, 
and Daniele Schiffman.

Signed by: 

William O. Jenkins, Jr.

Director, Homeland Security and Justice Issues:

Enclosures:

Enclosure I:

[See PDF for images]

[End of slide presentation]

Attachment I:

Voting Laws Enforced by the Voting Section Relevant to Contents of 
Briefing and Its Attachments:

According to the Voting Section, to carry out its mission, the Voting 
Section brings lawsuits against states, counties, cities, and other 
jurisdictions to remedy denials and abridgements of the right to vote; 
defends lawsuits that the Voting Rights Act authorizes to be brought 
against the Attorney General; reviews changes in voting laws and 
procedures administratively under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act; 
and monitors election day activities through the assignment of federal 
observers under Section 8 of the Voting Rights Act. Provided below are 
short descriptions of some of the primary voting laws enforced by the 
Voting Section.

Voting Rights Act Provisions:

* Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act (42 U.S.C.  1973):

Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act establishes a nationwide ban against 
any state or local election practices or procedures that deny or 
abridge a citizen's right to vote on account of race, color, or 
membership in a language minority group.[Footnote 4] The Voting Rights 
Act provides that plaintiffs may establish a violation of Section 2 by 
demonstrating that "the political processes leading to nomination or 
election" deny members of the protected classes an equal opportunity to 
participate in the political process and to elect representatives of 
their choice. A court, under the Voting Rights Act, may also consider 
the extent to which members of the protected class have been elected to 
office in the jurisdiction, though Congress made clear that Section 2 
does not confer upon protected classes a right to proportional 
representation.

* Sections 203 and 4(f)(4) of the Voting Rights Act (42 U.S.C.  
1973aa-1a, 1973b(f)(4)):

Sections 203 and 4(f)(4) are the language minority provisions of the 
Voting Rights Act and require certain covered jurisdictions to provide 
bilingual election materials and assistance based on census data 
pertaining to the population of citizens of voting age with limited 
English proficiency and their rate of illiteracy. With respect to 
Section 203, the Voting Rights Act requires jurisdictions to provide 
language minority assistance when certain criteria are met, such as 
when more than 5 percent of the citizens of voting age or more than 
10,000 of the citizens of voting age are members of a single language 
minority group, and are unable to speak or understand English 
adequately enough to participate in the electoral process.

* Section 208 of the Voting Rights Act (42 U.S.C.  1973aa-6):

Section 208 of the Voting Rights Act authorizes voting assistance for 
blind, disabled, or illiterate persons. A voter who requires assistance 
to vote by reason of blindness, disability, or inability to read or 
write may be given assistance by a person of the voter's choice, other 
than the voter's employer or agent of that employer or officer or agent 
of the voter's union.

* Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act (42 U.S.C.  1973c):

Under Section 5 of the Act, "covered"[Footnote 5] jurisdictions may not 
change their election practices or procedures until they obtain federal 
"preclearance" for the change. The act provides for either judicial or 
administrative preclearance. Under the judicial mechanism, covered 
jurisdictions may seek declaratory judgment from the United States 
District Court for the District of Columbia that the change has neither 
the purpose nor the effect of discriminating against protected 
minorities in exercising their voting rights. Under the administrative 
mechanism, covered jurisdictions may seek the same determination from 
the Attorney General. The Attorney General may deny preclearance by 
interposing and objection to the proposed change within 60 days of its 
submission.

* Section 6 of the Voting Rights Act (42 U.S.C.  1973d):

Section 6 of the Voting Rights Act provides for the appointment of 
federal examiners by order of a federal court or, with respect to 
certain covered jurisdictions, upon certification by the Attorney 
General. Federal examiners help to register voters by determining 
whether a citizen meets state eligibility requirements and must 
therefore be included in the registration rolls. A federal court, under 
the Voting Rights Act, may order the appointment of federal examiners 
to any jurisdiction sued under any statute to enforce certain 
constitutional voting guarantees.[Footnote 6] In covered 
jurisdictions, the Attorney General may appoint examiners upon 
certification that the Attorney General has received at least 20 
meritorious written complaints of voting discrimination or that the 
Attorney General otherwise believes that the appointment of examiners 
is necessary to protect voting rights.

* Section 8 of the Voting Rights Act (42 U.S.C.  1973f):

Under Section 8 of the Voting Rights Act, federal observers may be 
appointed, upon request of the Attorney General, in any jurisdiction 
where an examiner is serving. Federal observers are to monitor 
elections and report whether persons entitled to vote were allowed to 
vote and whether their votes were properly counted.

* Section 11(b) of the Voting Rights Act (42 U.S.C.  1973i(b):

Section 11(b) of the Voting Rights Act prohibits persons, whether 
acting under color of law or not, from intimidating, threatening, or 
coercing, or attempting to intimidate, threaten or coerce, any person 
for voting or attempting to vote. Section 11(b) further prohibits 
intimidation, threats, or coercion of those persons aiding other 
persons in voting or exercising certain powers or duties under the Act.

Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act of 1986 (42 U.S.C. 
 1973ff to 1973ff-6):

The Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act of 1986 
(UOCAVA), in general, requires states and territories to allow absent 
uniformed service voters, their spouses and dependents, and certain 
other overseas voters to register and vote absentee in elections for 
federal office. UOCAVA requires, for example, that a presidential 
designee prescribe a federal write-in absentee ballot for all overseas 
voters in federal elections. The ballot is to be used if the overseas 
voter applies for, but does not receive, a state absentee 
ballot.[Footnote 7] While state law, in general, governs the processing 
of these federal write-in ballots, UOCAVA requires that states permit 
their use in federal elections.[Footnote 8]

National Voter Registration Act (42 U.S.C.  1973gg to 1973gg-10):

The National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (NVRA) established 
procedures designed to "increase the number of eligible citizens who 
register to vote in elections Federal office," while protecting "the 
integrity of the electoral process" and ensuring the maintenance of 
"accurate and current voter registration rolls."[Footnote 9] NVRA 
requires all states to adopt certain federal voter registration 
procedures, except for those states that have no registration 
requirements or that permit election-day registration with respect to 
federal elections.[Footnote 10] NVRA, for example, requires states to 
allow applicants for driver's licenses to register to vote on the same 
form.[Footnote 11] NVRA also requires states to provide voter 
registration forms and accept completed applications at various state 
agencies, including any office in the state providing public 
assistance, any office in the state that provides state-funded 
disability programs, and other agencies chosen by the state, such as 
state licensing bureaus, county clerks' offices, public schools and 
public libraries.[Footnote 12] NVRA also contains detailed requirements 
regarding state removal of names from federal registration 
rolls.[Footnote 13]

Voting Accessibility for the Elderly and Handicapped Act of 1984 (42 
U.S.C.  1973ee to 1973ee-6):

Congress has passed legislation intended to improve access for elderly 
and handicapped individuals to registration facilities and polling 
places for federal elections. The Voting Accessibility for the Elderly 
and Handicapped Act of 1984 requires, with some exceptions, that 
political subdivisions within each state that are responsible for 
conducting elections assure that polling places and registration sits 
are accessible to handicapped and elderly voters.[Footnote 14] If the 
political subdivision is unable to provide an accessible polling place, 
it must provide an alternative means for casting a ballot on election 
day upon advance request by the voter.[Footnote 15] The act's 
requirements also include, for example, that each state or political 
subdivision provide a reasonable number of accessible permanent 
registration facilities, and that each state make available certain 
types of voting and registration aids such as large-type instructions 
and information by telecommunication devices for the deaf.[Footnote 16]

Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (42 U.S.C.  12131 to 
12134) (enforced by the Disability Rights Section of the Civil 
Rights Division):

Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits 
discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities in all 
programs, activities, and services of public entities. It applies to 
all state and local governments, their departments and agencies, and 
any other instrumentalities or special purpose districts of State and 
local governments. According to the Voting Section, as construed by the 
courts, Title II requires that polling places be accessible to persons 
with disabilities with certain exceptions.

Help America Vote Act (42 U.S.C.  15301 to 15545):

The Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA), among other things, 
established a program to provide funds to states to replace punch care 
voting systems, established the Election Assistance Commission to 
assist in the administration of federal elections and to otherwise 
provide assistance with the administration of certain federal election 
laws and programs, and established minimum election administration 
standards for States and units of local government with responsibility 
for the administration of federal elections. Certain HAVA provisions 
including those relating to voting system standards, provisional voting 
and voting information requirements, and computerized statewide voter 
registration lists are to be enforced by the Attorney General.
[Footnote 17]

[End of section]

Attachment II:

Role of the Criminal Division's Public Integrity Section in Federal 
Elections:

The Public Integrity Section (PIN), in conjunction with the 93 U. S. 
Attorneys and the FBI, is responsible for enforcing federal criminal 
laws applicable to federal election fraud offenses, among other things. 
Election fraud is conduct that corrupts the electoral processes for: 
(1) obtaining, marking, or tabulating ballots; (2) canvassing and 
certifying election results; or (3) registering voters. Election fraud 
can be committed with or without the participation of voters. Examples 
of election fraud that does not involve voter participation are ballot 
box stuffing, ghost voting, and "nursing home" frauds. Examples of 
election fraud that involves, at least to some extent, voter 
participation are vote buying schemes, absentee ballot fraud, voter 
intimidation schemes, migratory-voting or floating-voter schemes, and 
voter "assistance" fraud in which the voters' wishes are ignored or not 
sought. According to a PIN official, its attorneys spend about 10 
percent of their time on election fraud investigations and trials.

PIN is also responsible for overseeing the U.S. Attorneys' and the 
FBI's investigation and prosecution of federal election fraud, one of 
the most common types of alleged federal election crimes. PIN's 
oversight entails (1) advising investigators and prosecutors on the 
application of federal criminal laws to election crimes, (2) reviewing 
all major election crime investigations and all proposed election crime 
charges, and (3) assisting with implementing DOJ's District Election 
Officer (DEO) program. Under the DEO program, PIN asks each of the 93 
U.S. Attorneys to appoint an Assistant U.S. Attorney to serve a 2-year 
term as a DEO and provides training and guidance to DEOs on carrying 
out their responsibilities. DEOs, whose responsibilities are performed 
in conjunction with their other responsibilities, are to:

* screen and conduct preliminary investigations of complaints, in 
conjunction with the FBI and PIN, to determine whether they constitute 
potential election crimes and should become matters for investigation;

* oversee the investigation and prosecution of election fraud and other 
election crimes in their districts;

* coordinate their district's (investigative and prosecutorial) efforts 
with DOJ headquarters prosecutors;

* coordinate election matters with state and local election and law 
enforcement officials and make them aware of their availability to 
assist with election-related matters;

* issue press releases to the public announcing the names and telephone 
numbers of DOJ and FBI officials to contact on election day with 
complaints about voting or election irregularities and answer 
telephones on election day to receive these complaints; and:

* supervise a team of Assistant U.S. Attorneys and FBI special agents 
who are appointed to handle election-related allegations while the 
polls are open on election day.

Our analysis of information from PIN on election fraud matters showed 
that U.S. Attorneys and PIN attorneys initiated a total of 61 election 
fraud matters, or investigations, related to election years 2000 
through 2003. Most of the 61 matters related to elections held in 2002. 
Matters were initiated in 28 states and 1 U.S. territory (the U.S. 
Virgin Islands) and ranged from 1 to 7 matters per state/territory over 
the 4-year period. The most frequent allegations of election fraud were 
for absentee ballot fraud and vote buying. According to PIN, many of 
these matters resulted in indictments and subsequent convictions.

According to the Criminal Division, the information provided by PIN 
does not include all election fraud investigations that the U.S. 
Attorneys have initiated because (1) U. S. Attorneys are not required 
to consult with PIN for preliminary investigations as opposed to grand 
jury investigations, which require consultation; (2) PIN did not track 
election fraud investigations prior to October 2002; and (3) election 
fraud investigations are sometimes initiated under non-election 
statutes.

[End of section]

Attachment III:

Election Jurisdictions Monitored during Calendar Years 2000 through 
2003:

Table 1: Attorney General-Certified Election Jurisdictions Monitored 
during Calendar Years 2000 through 2003:

State: Alabama; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2000: Hale County; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2002: Hale County.

State: Alabama; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2000: Selma (Dallas County)[A]; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2002: Chambers County.

State: Alabama; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2000: Lowndes County.

State: Arizona; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2000: Apache County; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2002: Apache County.

State: Arizona; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2000: Navajo County; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2002: Navajo County.

State: Georgia; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2000: Randolph County [A]; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2002: Randolph County.

State: Georgia; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2000: Brooks County.

State: Georgia; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2000: Sumter County.

State: Georgia; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2000: Twiggs County.

State: Louisiana; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2000: Tensas Parish.

State: Mississippi; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2000: Aberdeen (Monroe 
County)[A]; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2001: Clarksdale (Coahoma 
County) [B]; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2002: Adams County; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2003: Greenville (Washington 
County).

State: Mississippi; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2000: Bolivar County; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2001: Isola (Humphreys County); 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2002: Amite County; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2003: Humphreys County.

State: Mississippi; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2000: Grenada County; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2001: Macon (Noxubee County); 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2002: Centreville (Wilkinson 
County); 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2003: Noxubee County [A].

State: Mississippi; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2000: Neshoba County; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2001: Sunflower (Sunflower 
County); 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2002: Drew (Sunflower County); 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2003: Neshoba County.

State: Mississippi; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2000: Newton County; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2003: Newton County.

State: Mississippi; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2003: Kemper County.

State: Mississippi; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2001: Vicksburg (Warren County) 
[A]; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2003: Leake County.

State: Mississippi; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2001: Webb (Tallahatchie 
County); 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2003: Jones County.

State: Mississippi; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2003: Winston County.

State: New York; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2000: Kings County; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2001: Kings County; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2002: Kings County.

State: New York; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2000: New York County; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2001: New York County; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2002: New York County.

State: New York; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2001: Bronx County.

State: South Carolina; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2000: Marion County [A]; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2001: Ridgeville (Dorchester 
County); 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2002: Ridgeville (Dorchester 
County) [A].

State: Texas; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2000: Irving (Dallas County); 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2001: Irving (Dallas County); 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2002: Titus County.

Total jurisdictions; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2000: 19; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2001: 11; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2002: 13; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2003: 9.

Source: GAO's analysis of election monitoring data provided by DOJ's 
Voting Section.

[A] Elections were monitored by DOJ attorneys and professional staff 
only, not OPM federal observers.

[B] Three elections were held in Clarksdale (Coahoma County), 
Mississippi, in calendar year 2001. Only DOJ attorneys and professional 
staff monitored one of the three elections, held on June 5, 2001. For 
the remaining two elections held that year, DOJ attorneys and 
professional staff accompanied OPM observers in monitoring the 
elections.

[End of table]

Table 2: Court-Ordered Election Jurisdictions Monitored during Calendar 
Years 2000 through 2003:

State: California; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2000: Alameda County[A].

State: Illinois; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2001: Cicero (Cook County); 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2003: Cicero (Cook County)[B].

State: Louisiana; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2000: [C]; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2001: [C]; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2002: [C]; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2003: [C].

State: Michigan; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2000: City of Hamtramck; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2001: City of Hamtramck; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2002: City of Hamtramck; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2003: City of Hamtramck.

State: New Jersey; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2000: Passaic County; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2001: Passaic County; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2002: Passaic County; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2003: Passaic County[D].

State: New Mexico; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2000: Bernalillo County; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2002: Bernalillo County.

State: New Mexico; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2000: Cibola County; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2002: Cibola County.

State: New Mexico; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2000: Sandoval County; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2002: Sandoval County.

State: New Mexico; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2000: Socorro County; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2002: Socorro County.

State: Pennsylvania; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2001: Reading (Berks County) 
[B]; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2002: Reading (Berks 
County)[B]; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2003: Reading (Berks County).

State: Utah; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2000: San Juan County[E]; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2002: San Juan County[E].

Total jurisdictions; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2000: 8; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2001: 4; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2002: 8; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2003: 4.

Source: GAO's analysis of election monitoring data provided by DOJ's 
Voting Section.

[A] The court order for Alameda County, California, was in effect until 
January 22, 2001.

[B] Elections were monitored by DOJ attorneys and professional staff 
only, not OPM federal observers.

[C] A court order for St. Landry Parish was entered into on December 5, 
1979. Data from the Voting Section shows that as of August 26, 2003, 
the court order was still in effect and that no elections were 
monitored at this parish during calendar years 2000 through 2003.

[D] Four elections were held in Passaic County, New Jersey, in calendar 
year 2003. Only DOJ attorneys and professional staff monitored one of 
the four elections, held on May 13, 2003. For the remaining three 
elections held that year, DOJ attorneys and professional staff 
accompanied OPM observers in monitoring the elections.

[E] The court order for San Juan County, Utah, was in effect until 
December 31, 2002.

[End of table]

Table 3: Other Election Jurisdictions Monitored during Calendar Years 
2000 through 2003:

State: California; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2002: San Francisco County; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2003: San Francisco County.

State: Connecticut; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2002: Waterbury (New Haven 
County).

State: Florida; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2001: Osceola County; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2002: Osceola County.

State: Florida; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2002: Duval County; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2003: Duval County.

State: Florida; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2002: Miami-Dade County; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2003: Miami-Dade County.

State: Florida; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2002: Century (Escambia 
County).

State: Florida; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2002: Orange County.

State: Florida; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2002: Broward County.

State: Georgia; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2000: Putnam County; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2002: Atlanta (Fulton County).

State: Hawaii; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2003: Honolulu County.

State: Kentucky; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2003: Jefferson County.

State: Louisiana; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2002: St. Martinville (St. 
Martin Parish); 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2003: Baker (East Baton Rouge 
Parish).

State: Louisiana; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2002: Winnsboro (Franklin 
Parish); 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2003: Tangipahoa Parish.

State: Massachusetts; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2001: Lawrence (Essex County); 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2003: Lawrence (Essex County).

State: Michigan; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2000: Flint (Genesee County).

State: Missouri; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2001: St. Louis; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2002: St. Louis; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2003: St. Louis.

State: New Jersey; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2002: Hudson County.

State: New Jersey; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2002: Middlesex County.

State: New Mexico; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2000: McKinley County[A]; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2002: San Juan County.

State: New York; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2001: Queens County[A]; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2002: Queens County; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2003: New York City (Queens 
County).

State: New York; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2001: Suffolk County; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2002: Suffolk County; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2003: Brentwood Union Free 
School District (Suffolk County).

State: Ohio; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2001: Maple Heights (Cuyahoga 
County).

State: South Carolina; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2000: Marion County.

State: Texas; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2000: Fort Worth (Tarrant 
County); 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2001: Bexar County; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2002: Kenedy ISD (Karnes 
County); 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2003: Harris County.

State: Texas; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2001: Comal County; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2002: Seagraves (Gaines 
County); 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2003: Moore County.

State: Texas; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2001: Guadalupe County.

Total jurisdictions; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2000: 5; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2001: 9; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2002: 19; 
Election jurisdictions monitored during 2003: 13.

Source: GAO's analysis of election monitoring data provided by DOJ's 
Voting Section.

Note: DOJ attorneys and professional staff monitored the election 
jurisdictions shown in this table unless otherwise noted.

[A] OPM federal observers also monitored elections in these counties 
even though the counties are not under Attorney General-certification 
or court order.

[End of table]

[End of section]

Attachment IV:

Summaries of Election-Related Preliminary Investigation, Matters, and 
Cases Initiated from November 2000 to December 2003:

Election-Related Closed Matters and Open Case Initiated during November 
or December 2000:

No: 1; Matter/Case: Matter;
Jurisdiction: Florida;
Date matter initiated: December 2000;
DJ No.: No[A].

No: 2; Matter/Case: Matter;
Jurisdiction: Hillsborough County, Florida;
Date matter initiated: November 2000;
DJ No.: No[A].

No: 3; Matter/Case: Matter;
Jurisdiction: Palm Beach County, Florida;
Date matter initiated: November 2000;
DJ No.: Yes.

No: 4; Matter/Case: Matter;
Jurisdiction: Several counties in Florida;
Date matter initiated: November 2000;
DJ No.: Yes.

No: 5; Matter/Case: Matter;
Jurisdiction: DeKalb County, Georgia;
Date matter initiated: December 2000;
DJ No.: Yes.

No: 6; Matter/Case: Matter;
Jurisdiction: Gwinnett County, Georgia;
Date matter initiated: November 2000;
DJ No.: Yes.

No: 7; Matter/Case: Case;
Jurisdiction: St. Louis, Missouri;
Date matter initiated: November 2000 (case filed in August 2002);
DJ No.: Yes.

Source: DOJ Civil Rights Division.

[A] For the matters that the Voting Section initiated in Florida after 
the 2000 election, the Voting Section initially used a general DJ 
number for all work on investigations and inquiries related to the 
Florida election. This number was opened in November 2000. 
Subsequently, the Voting Section assigned separate DJ numbers for 
individual matters. The 2000 matters in Florida and Hillsborough 
County, Florida, were inadvertently not given an individual DJ number.

[End of table]

Summary of Election-Related Closed Matters and Open Case Initiated 
during November or December 2000:

Description based on Voting Section information: 1. The Voting Section 
received a large number of complaints alleging that Florida voters 
arrived at the polls expecting to be properly registered to vote, but 
were told that their names were not on the voter rolls. Some people who 
tried to vote but whose names were not on the voter rolls were often 
told to stand in another line so election officials could be called to 
verify their registrations, but many voters alleged that office phones 
were busy all day and registrations could not be verified. Some voters 
apparently left and some remained at the polls until they closed, at 
which time they were apparently told they could not vote because the 
polls were closed.

Voting Section's actions taken to address allegation: Voting Section 
staff contacted individuals mentioned in complaints that the NAACP had 
forwarded to determine the nature of their alleged registration 
problems. Voting Section staff monitored election-related hearings and 
lawsuits in Florida to see what steps the state was going to take. The 
Voting Section reviewed election reform legislation that Florida 
enacted in 2001.

Voting Section's assessment of allegations: Interviews by Voting 
Section staff with individuals mentioned in the complaints did not 
reveal a distinct pattern of registration problems in any one Florida 
county sufficient to warrant litigation, but taken as a whole the 
registration complaints seemed to indicate general problems with the 
state of compliance with NVRA provisions for clarity and processing of 
voter registration forms, transmission of the forms to election 
officials, education of registration personnel, adherence to NVRA 
registration deadlines, maintenance of registration lists, ability to 
verify registration at the polls, and education of voters, state 
registration personnel, election officials, and poll workers.

Disposition by Voting Section: Florida enacted election reform 
legislation in 2001 requiring, among other things, that the state 
implement a statewide voter registration database, permit provisional 
voting, and provide funds to counties for voter education and poll 
worker training. The Voting Section reviewed this law under Section 5 
of the Voting Rights Act and precleared it on March 28, 2002. With 
respect to this investigation, the Voting Section noted that these 
reforms should help address the problems alleged to have occurred in 
2000. While the Voting Section further noted that the new state 
legislation did not appear specifically to address all the NVRA-related 
issues, such as the voter registration process and education of motor 
vehicle agency and other state agency employees regarding state 
registration procedures and requirements in federal law, such issues 
could be addressed through design and implementation of the forthcoming 
election procedures to carry out the requirements of the new law. 
Therefore, the Voting Section determined that it would monitor 
Florida's NVRA actions in the future in light of the new state 
legislation and ongoing federal legislative efforts in election reform 
which might also impact Florida's election procedures. The Voting 
Section closed the matter because, based on its monitoring of the 
situation and the provisions in the state law pertinent to registration 
that had been precleared, it concluded that the problems which occurred 
in the 2000 election were being adequately addressed.

Description based on Voting Section information: 2. The NAACP National 
Voter Fund alleged (1) that on Election Day 2000, sheriff's deputies in 
marked cars in Hillsborough County, Florida, blocked access to a 
polling place, (2) that their presence had an intimidating effect on 
voters, and (3) that at least on one occasion they harassed a voter. An 
African-American man approached sheriff's deputies after they left the 
scene of a burglary complaining that he was not allowed to vote.

Voting Section's actions taken to address allegation: Voting Section 
staff met with, among others, officials from the county sheriff's 
office and several local residents, and spoke with a poll watcher to 
gather additional observations.

Voting Section's assessment of allegations: The sheriff's office 
reported that the presence of sheriff's deputies near the polling place 
was related to a burglary nearby. One of the sheriff's deputies learned 
two days after the election that the same man who had approached the 
deputies on Election Day returned to the polling place and successfully 
voted. A poll worker observed the presence of the sheriff's cars around 
the same time they were responding to the burglary, and observed that 
no voter had been deterred from voting due to the police activity.

Disposition by Voting Section: The Voting Section closed the matter 
because the complaint lacked merit since there was no evidence on any 
of the allegations raised.

Description based on Voting Section information: 3. It was alleged that 
the design of the butterfly ballot in Palm Beach County, Florida, 
violated federal voting rights laws.

Voting Section's actions taken to address allegation: The Voting 
Section opened a matter related to this issue and reviewed federal law 
for which the Section had enforcement authority to determine if any 
action was appropriate.

Voting Section's assessment of allegations: The Voting Section 
determined that there was no basis for asserting federal jurisdiction.

Disposition by Voting Section: The Voting Section concluded that 
because it had no jurisdiction concerning this matter, no further 
action was warranted. In addition, according to the Voting Section, the 
new Florida election reform law should help to alleviate faulty ballot 
design by providing for greater oversight of ballot design.

Description based on Voting Section information: 4. Four state troopers 
with the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles ran a 
driver's license checkpoint on Election Day 2000 in Leon County, 
Florida. This checkpoint was located near (about a mile from) a voting 
precinct. Another checkpoint was held in Bay and Escambia Counties. 
According to a highway patrol official, this checkpoint was not located 
near a voting precinct.

Voting Section's actions taken to address allegation: The Voting 
Section opened a matter to investigate this issue and asked the Florida 
State Office of the Attorney General about the checkpoint in Leon 
County. A Voting Section attorney also spoke with an African-American 
voter who was stopped at one of the driver's license checkpoints.

Voting Section's assessment of allegations: The Voting Section's 
investigation revealed that the Florida Highway Patrol had set up a 
traffic check stop close to a polling place (about a mile away) located 
in a predominantly African-American neighborhood. The Voting Section 
investigation also indicated that the troopers' traffic stop plan had 
not been pre-approved by their commander, as is the standard procedure. 
Further investigation revealed that the traffic checkpoint was in 
effect for about 3 hours, and a higher number of white drivers were 
stopped than African-American drivers. According the Voting Section, an 
African-American voter who was stopped was treated courteously and 
proceeded to vote without incident.

Disposition by Voting Section: The Voting Section closed the matter 
because there was no evidence of intimidation or racial intent to 
affect or intimidate voters.

Description based on Voting Section information: 5. A U. S. 
Representative raised concerns regarding long voting delays in 
predominantly African-American precincts in DeKalb County, Georgia 
during the November 2000 election. It was alleged that there were no 
corresponding delays in majority white precincts. In one predominantly 
African-American precinct, several hundred voters apparently left the 
precinct without voting after waiting in line for several hours. In 
districts with a majority of white residents, voting lines apparently 
moved quickly with some people being able to vote in less than 15 
minutes. In addition, two people complained about possible voting 
irregularities during a March 2001 election.

Voting Section's actions taken to address allegation: A Voting Section 
attorney met with the following in Georgia to address these concerns: 
(1) the DeKalb County Elections Supervisor, (2) the Chairman of the 
DeKalb County Elections Board, (3) the Gwinnett County Elections 
Supervisor, (4) the president of the DeKalb County NAACP, (5) the 
Assistant DeKalb County Attorney, and (6) one of the representative's 
staff members. The Voting Section attorney received and reviewed 
documents from both counties' elections departments regarding the 
November 2000 election. The Voting Section attorney requested 
additional documents from the Assistant DeKalb County Attorney and 
DeKalb County Elections Supervisor to determine if there was an unequal 
division of resources among African-American and white districts. These 
documents outlined the budget for expenses related to the elections 
from 1998 through 2000. The Voting Section attorney also spoke with the 
president of the DeKalb County NAACP and the U. S. Attorney for the 
Northern District of Georgia. The Voting Section attorney spoke with 
the two persons alleging fraud during the March 2001 election.

Voting Section's assessment of allegations: The Voting Section 
attorney's analysis of the documents that DeKalb County provided 
revealed that most of the county's polling places that stayed open past 
closing time were located in majority African-American precincts. The 
polls' extended hours almost uniformly resulted from there being large 
numbers of people in line as well as insufficient numbers of poll 
workers and voting machines. The attorney also determined that there 
had been no unequal division of electoral resources between majority 
white and majority African-American precincts. According to 
investigations of the November 2000 election by the county's elections 
department, the area manager and his assistants at the main precinct of 
concern failed to contact the precinct office about the long lines and 
insufficient voting machines. The former area manager also denied the 
poll workers' requests for additional voting machines, stating none 
were available. The president of the DeKalb County NAACP, staff in the 
office of the U. S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia, and 
the DeKalb County Elections Supervisor did not receive complaints 
related to Election Day in DeKalb County. With respect to the March 
2001 allegations, the Voting Section attorney noted that the two 
persons could not identify the precincts where alleged irregularities 
occurred, and that they did not have allegations of racial intimidation 
or vote suppression. The Voting Section attorney determined that their 
complaints seemed to concern Georgia state law, suggested that they 
explore their state law remedies, suggested that they contact the 
county elections department and the office of Georgia's Secretary of 
State, and asked them to keep the Voting Section attorney informed of 
developments.

Disposition by Voting Section: The county implemented the following 
changes for the March 2001 election: (1) increased the number of voting 
machines, (2) assigned additional poll workers and managers, (3) 
assigned at least 10 additional staff members to answer telephones at 
the Elections Department and installed 10 more telephone lines, and (4) 
gave the Elections Department and area managers cell phones in case 
regular telephone lines were busy. The Voting Section determined that a 
dramatic improvement resulted from these remedial actions and, as a 
result, closed the matter.

Description based on Voting Section information: 6. The Voting Section 
received information that people in Gwinnett County, Georgia who had 
registered to vote via the Georgia Department of Public Safety (DPS) 
were not on the voter registration rolls and were not allowed to vote. 
DPS operated vehicle registration sites in Georgia. Subsequently, DPS 
began the process of transitioning National Voter Registration Act 
(NVRA) responsibilities to the state's newly created Department of 
Motor Vehicles (DMV). It was alleged that voters were turned away from 
the polls and were not offered provisional ballots. Some voters were 
told to go to the county registration office, but officials there told 
them they were not allowed to vote.

Voting Section's actions taken to address allegation: The Voting 
Section spoke with staff in the Georgia Attorney General's office and 
the Georgia DPS and DMV, a voter who raised the allegations, and the 
Deputy Director of Elections in the Secretary of State's Office. The 
Voting Section monitored the transition of NVRA responsibilities from 
DPS to the new DMV from April 2001 to April 2002.

Voting Section's assessment of allegations: The Voting Section's 
investigation revealed that the problem likely arose from the DPS 
paperless system to obtain and renew a driver's license. The process 
seemed to result in people believing they had been registered to vote 
when they had not. A person who indicated the intention to register to 
vote did not receive any confirmation at the time of the transaction. 
The Voting Section's investigation revealed that since DPS implemented 
a paperless system in 1996, the percentage of those who registered to 
vote at DPS sites when they applied or renewed their licenses had 
dropped almost every year. There was also evidence that DPS officials 
knew of concerns regarding the agency's paperless registration system 
from its implementation.

Disposition by Voting Section: The Voting Section closed the matter in 
April 2002 mostly because the state had created a new agency, the 
Department of Motor Vehicle Safety, to which responsibility for voter 
registration was in the process of being transitioned. The Voting 
Section determined this system would remedy the problem.

Description based on Voting Section information: 7. DOJ, on behalf of 
the United States, alleged that the St. Louis Board of Election 
Commissioners' (referred to hereafter as the Board) placement of 
eligible voters on inactive status, when combined with election-day 
procedures that inactive voters were required to follow to restore 
their active voter status and vote during the November 2000 and March 
2001 elections, constituted a removal of those voters from the voter 
registration rolls in violation of Section 8 of NVRA. As of the 
November 2000 general election, more than 54,000 registered voters in 
St. Louis had been designated as inactive and excluded from the lists 
of eligible voters following a series of mail canvasses that the Board 
conducted of its voter registration rolls. These mail canvasses did not 
include the notices required by Section 8(d)(2) of NVRA. The Board did 
not make an effort to notify inactive voters that their registration 
status had changed, that their names would not appear on the voter 
registration lists, or that they would face more administrative efforts 
on election day before being permitted to vote. As a result, certain 
eligible, but inactive voters, were not able to vote in the November 
2000 general election and March 2001 municipal primary election due to 
the lack of an adequate infrastructure (i.e., insufficient phone lines, 
working telephones, and staff) in place to enable voters to complete 
the verification procedures required by the Board on election day. For 
the November 2000 election, over 300 eligible inactive voters were able 
to obtain authorization to vote after going to the Board's headquarters 
as instructed by the election judges.

Voting Section's actions taken to address allegation: Following an 
investigation, DOJ filed a complaint with the U. S. District Court in 
the Eastern District of Missouri on August 14, 2002. On the same date, 
DOJ entered into a consent order with the city of St. Louis.

Voting Section's assessment of allegations: The Voting Section alleged 
that the state was in violation of NVRA and filed a complaint.

Disposition by Voting Section: The consent order gives court 
jurisdiction over the proceeding until January 31, 2005. The consent 
order requires the Board to initiate procedures to remedy the problems 
that occurred during the November 2000 election, such as improved 
methods of notifying voters who are moved to an inactive status, 
improved methods of canvassing, and improved resources to process 
eligible voters not included on the rolls on Election Day. This relief 
included requiring that every polling place have a complete list of 
registered voters, including inactive voters, and a polling place 
locator to assist voters in finding their correct precincts. The 
consent decree is valid until January 31, 2005. The case remains open 
to monitor implementation of the consent order.

[End of table]

Election-Related Closed Matters and Open Cases Initiated during 
Calendar Year 2001:

No: 1; Matter/Case: Matter;
Jurisdiction: Florida;
Date matter initiated: March 2001[B];
DJ No.: Yes.

No: 2; Matter/Case: Matter;
Jurisdiction: Florida;
Date matter initiated: June 2001[B];
DJ No.: Yes.

No: 3; Matter/Case: Matter;
Jurisdiction: Florida;
Date matter initiated: June 2001[B];
DJ No.: Yes.

No: 4; Matter/Case: Matter;
Jurisdiction: Florida;
Date matter initiated: August 2001[B];
DJ No.: No[C].

No: 5; Matter/Case: Matter;
Jurisdiction: Broward County, Florida;
Date matter initiated: October 2001 [B];
DJ No.: Yes.

No: 6; Matter/Case: Matter;
Jurisdiction: Miami-Dade County, Florida;
Date matter initiated: June 2001 [B];
DJ No.: Yes.

No: 7; Matter/Case: Matter;
Jurisdiction: Miami-Dade County, Florida;
Date matter initiated: June 2001 [B];
DJ No.: Yes.

No: 8; Matter/Case: Matter (election monitoring);
Jurisdiction: New York, New York;
Date matter initiated: July 2001;
DJ No.: Yes.

No: 9; Matter/Case: Matter;
Jurisdiction: Georgetown County, South Carolina;
Date matter initiated: Apr-01;
DJ No.: Yes.

No: 10; Matter/Case: Matter;
Jurisdiction: Seagraves, Texas;
Date matter initiated: July 2001;
DJ No.: Yes.

No: 11; Matter/Case: Case;
Jurisdiction: Miami-Dade County, Florida;
Date matter initiated: March 2001 (case filed in June 2002) [B];
DJ No.: Yes.

No: 12; Matter/Case: Case;
Jurisdiction: Orange County, Florida;
Date matter initiated: June 2001 (case filed in June 2002) [B];
DJ No.: Yes.

No: 13; Matter/Case: Case;
Jurisdiction: Osceola County, Florida;
Date matter initiated: June 2001 (case filed in June 2002) [B];
DJ No.: Yes.

No: 14; Matter/Case: Case;
Jurisdiction: Berks County, Pennsylvania;
Date matter initiated: March 2001 (case filed in February 2003);
DJ No.: Yes.

No: 15; Matter/Case: Case;
Jurisdiction: Tennessee;
Date matter initiated: April 2001 (case filed in September 2002);
DJ No.: Yes.

Source: DOJ Civil Rights Division.

[B] Each of these Florida matters was initiated in the period shortly 
after the November 2000 election-i.e., in November or December 2000-and 
was reported under the general DJ number for Florida discussed 
previously (see note a under the summary table for November and 
December 2000 and note c below). The above dates are the dates they 
received individual DJ numbers.

[C] For the matters that the Voting Section initiated in Florida after 
the 2000 election, the Voting Section initially used a general DJ 
number for all work on investigations and inquiries related to the 
Florida election. This number was opened in November 2000. 
Subsequently, the Voting Section assigned separate DJ numbers for 
individual matters. The 2000 matters in Florida and Hillsborough 
County, Florida, were inadvertently not given an individual DJ number.

[End of table]

Summary of Election-Related Closed Matters and Open Cases Initiated 
during Calendar Year 2001:

Description based on Voting Section information: 1. There were 
allegations made by students at Florida A&M University (FAMU) in 
Tallahassee (Leon County), Florida, and Bethune-Cookman College in 
Daytona Beach, Florida, regarding discriminatory treatment of African-
American students in the registration process or at the polls. First-
time voters, apparently unfamiliar with the registration process, had 
greater difficulty registering to vote. Older students did not seem to 
have such difficulty.

Voting Section's actions taken to address allegation: The Voting 
Section's investigation consisted of phone interviews with Bethune-
Cookman students, on-campus interviews of FAMU students and student 
government leaders, and a review of statements taken by a 
representative of the Service Employees International Union legal 
department working in association with the NAACP. A Voting Section 
attorney interviewed three students on FAMU's campus who claimed to 
experience difficulty voting, but were able to vote. The Voting Section 
attorney left his contact information with FAMU's student government 
association for any individuals who wanted to give statements regarding 
voting problems but could not meet with the attorney. The Voting 
Section attorney attempted to contact all ten students from Bethune-
Cookman, but was only able to speak with three. The attorney sent 
letters to the remaining students but never received responses to the 
letters. The Voting Section attorney followed up with his contacts at 
FAMU, but the Voting Section did not receive any response from students 
to its efforts to conduct further inquiries. The student government 
association also posted and distributed flyers and sent out internet 
notices with the attorney's contact information. Neither the attorney 
nor the student association at FAMU received additional allegations of 
voting irregularities.

Voting Section's assessment of allegations: The Voting Section 
determined that the problems were likely attributable to voter 
confusion, not racial animosity. The Voting Section noted that the 
incidents of the three FAMU students who successfully voted were 
isolated incidents, and since each student ultimately voted, the 
problems they suggested did not suggest a pattern of intimidation or 
attempted vote denial. The Voting Section concluded that most of the 
allegations were likely to have been the result of students not being 
familiar with the voting process. Many students had registered at their 
permanent home addresses and did not understand they had to re-register 
in Leon County. The Voting Section found that voter inexperience and 
confusion were to blame at Bethune-Cookman, not any pattern of 
discriminatory treatment.

Disposition by Voting Section: The Voting Section closed the matter 
because it lacked merit based on the evidence gathered during the 
investigation.

Description based on Voting Section information: 2. Beginning in 1999, 
under Florida state law, the state contracted with a firm to compare 
names of registered voters with names of convicted felons who under 
Florida law were disqualified from voting. The state elections division 
sent lists of felon names for each of Florida's 67 counties to election 
officials in those counties for investigation and purging. The Voting 
Section was concerned that county and state actions with regards to the 
purging process may have been flawed and impermissible under NVRA. The 
Voting Section questioned whether eligible voters had been 
inadvertently removed from the voter rolls.

Voting Section's actions taken to address allegation: The Voting 
Section reviewed testimony from Florida election officials and 
representatives of the company that compiled the database and obtained 
information on how the lists of felons' names were matched to voter 
registration lists. The Voting Section also did extensive additional 
investigation to determine whether the method in which Florida compiled 
a list of felons and how they purged these felons violated any of the 
statutes enforced by the Voting Section. In addition, the Voting 
Section reviewed Florida's 2001 election reform law pursuant to Section 
5 of the Voting Rights Act. This review included provisions of the new 
law related to the voter purge procedures that were the subject of the 
investigation.

Voting Section's assessment of allegations: The evidence gathered by 
the Voting Section showed that the matching at the state level was set 
up in a way that it captured names that were less than definite 
matches. The Voting Section also learned that after receiving the 
state-generated list, counties' actions varied. For example, some 
counties refused to use the list because they perceived it to contain 
many errors. Other counties sent letters to all the people on the 
state's list telling them that their names were matched to those of 
disqualified felons, and they would be required to show their 
eligibility to vote or be removed from the rolls. The Voting Section 
determined that evidence gathered for this matter was inconclusive, but 
showed there was a possibility that voters could have been removed in 
violation of federal law. With respect to the Section 5 review of the 
2001 election reform law, this law was precleared on March 28, 2002 
after careful review. Preclearance was granted only after receiving 
explicit assurances from the Attorney General of Florida describing how 
the law would be implemented with respect to voter purge lists 
generated by the state pursuant to the new state law. These assurances 
included (1) a statement that there would not be a presumption in favor 
of the accuracy of the statewide database, and any presumption would be 
in favor of the voter and (2) the appearance of a voter's name on any 
voter purge list of potentially ineligible voters generated by the 
state would not by itself confirm a voter's ineligibility, and that the 
burden of determining ineligibility was on county supervisors of 
elections, a burden which must meet the highest degree of proof. These 
assurances were specifically noted when preclearance was issued by the 
Voting Section.

Disposition by Voting Section: The Voting Section closed the matter in 
April 2002. The closing memo noted that the new statute appears to 
require no additional procedures for accurate name matching compared to 
the old law. It also noted that the new statute appeared to codify a 
procedure used by many counties under prior law where voters whose 
names are matched by the state must affirmatively prove their 
eligibility to avoid removal. However, the Voting Section closing memo 
also noted that the new voter purge procedures (which included the 
assurances made by the Attorney General of Florida to protect voters 
from erroneous purging) had been precleared on March 28, 2002. It 
further stated that the Florida felon purge statute in effect at the 
time of the 2000 election no longer existed and that any litigation 
against it based on how that law was implemented would be moot. Based 
on these two factors, the matter was closed. The memo also stated that 
the Voting Section may open a new investigation depending on any 
information received regarding the operation of the new statute and 
related regulations. Finally, the closing memo also made note of 
pending litigation in the case of NAACP v. Harris, which included 
allegations that the voter purge list used in 2000 violated the NVRA. 
Subsequent to the April 2002 closing of this matter, a settlement was 
reached in this case which required new procedures for how the state 
was to complete its voter purge lists in the future. This change in 
voter purging procedures was precleared under Section 5 of the Voting 
Rights Act in 2003.

Description based on Voting Section information: 3. A newspaper article 
provided to DOJ by a member of the U. S. Senate provided information 
that officials in several Florida counties disabled a feature in 
optical scan voting machines used during the November 2000 election to 
detect ballots spoiled by over-voting and allow voters to correct the 
error.

Voting Section's actions taken to address allegation: A Voting Section 
attorney analyzed rates of ballot spoilage in counties that had 
disabled the spoilage detection function in their optical scan machines 
and compared those rates to those of ballot spoilage in counties that 
had not disabled this function.

Voting Section's assessment of allegations: The investigation found 
that Florida counties with optical scan machines that activated the 
spoilage detection technology had lower rates of ballot spoilage than 
counties that did not have or did not use the technology. Some counties 
that had this detection feature disabled it on their voting machines. 
There were also isolated instances where the technology was either 
disabled or failed to function properly. The Voting Section determined 
that there was no evidence that the disabling of this feature was done 
with a discriminatory effect or purpose.

Disposition by Voting Section: The Voting Section closed this matter 
because it found no evidence indicating a violation of federal law. 
Moreover, election reform legislation enacted in Florida in May of 2001 
requires all counties to acquire voting machines with precinct-based 
spoilage detection technology by September 2002. The election reform 
law also requires counties to activate this technology during voting. 
The Attorney General, under Section 5 of the VRA, precleared election 
procedures provided for in this legislation.

Description based on Voting Section information: 4. The U. S. 
Commission on Civil Rights issued a report that posed questions 
regarding spoiled ballots in Florida during the November 2000 election. 
The Commission questioned whether the racial disparity in spoiled 
ballots that occurred in Florida in 2000 was a violation of Section 2 
of the Voting Rights Act. The Commission stated that the U. S. 
Department of Justice (DOJ) should specifically investigate whether the 
racial disparity in spoiled ballots violated Section 2.

Voting Section's actions taken to address allegation: The Voting 
Section reviewed the findings of the Commission's report regarding 
ballot rejection disparity and several newspaper studies of the 
spoilage issue. It then prepared a factual and legal analysis of issues 
raised in the Commission's report to determine if a Section 2 violation 
had occurred.

Voting Section's assessment of allegations: Several analyses suggested 
patterns of racial disparity in the ballot rejection practices of a few 
Florida counties during one election. However, the Voting Section 
determined that the disparity alone did not meet the standards for a 
Section 2 lawsuit. The Voting Section noted that more investigation, 
analysis, and careful thought would have to be given to the causes of 
ballot rejection problems in Florida, the actual level of racial 
disparities, and the role played by state and county officials before a 
decision could be made concerning a Section 2 violation.

Disposition by Voting Section: The Voting Section concluded that there 
was no basis for bringing a Section 2 lawsuit against Florida on the 
basis of the evidence of racial disparities found in spoilage rates. 
Furthermore, it was determined that because Florida's 2001 election 
reform law required new election machines, significant steps had been 
taken by Florida towards remedying the election problems with respect 
to voting machines. The Voting Section also concluded that it would 
make sense to monitor the actions of Florida and its counties over the 
subsequent few years to see whether they would follow through in 
acquiring new voting machines with error detection technologies and 
educating voters to see what impact such actions would have on ballot 
rejection rates.

Description based on Voting Section information: 5. DOJ received 
allegations of inaccessible polling places and voting booths in Broward 
County, Florida.

Voting Section's actions taken to address allegation: The Voting 
Section opened a matter and looked into the county's compliance with 
the Voting Accessibility for the Elderly and Handicapped Act (VAEHA). 
The Voting Section sent a letter to the Broward County Supervisor of 
Elections requesting specific information regarding procedures in place 
to ensure the physical accessibility of polling places for federal 
elections pursuant to VAEHA. Attorneys from the Voting Section and the 
Civil Rights Division's Disability Rights Section met with the county 
supervisor of elections and the supervisor's attorney to discuss 
physical accessibility of polling places and purchase of new voting 
machines. The Voting Section and Disability Rights Section's attorneys 
requested documentation such as copies of county surveys covering 
accessibility procedures, a list of polling place changes spurred by 
accessibility concerns; a list of disability community contacts with 
whom officials from the office of the county supervisor of elections 
met, and procedures for reassignment or curbside voting. The county 
provided both attorneys with a demonstration of the new touch-screen 
voting machines with an audio component for the blind or visually 
impaired. The Voting Section attorney also contacted the county 
supervisor of election's attorney requesting information on VAEHA 
compliance.

Voting Section's assessment of allegations: Based on information that 
the county provided, the Voting Section found that the county conducted 
polling place surveys in 1999 and conducted another survey devised to 
address the problem of disabled voters' access to the polls. The 
investigation revealed that the people conducting the surveys had no 
training in accessibility standards. The county provided the Voting 
Section attorney with a memo and a plan stating that Florida intended 
to purchase new touch-screen voting machines with an audio component 
for the blind or visually impaired, with one such voting machine 
available per precinct.

Disposition by Voting Section: As a result of the problems experienced 
in the 2000 election, the Florida legislature enacted changes to its 
accessibility requirements for polling places and voting machines. In 
light of this and the Voting Section's determination that the new 
Florida law went further than the requirements in VAEHA, the 
investigation was closed.

Description based on Voting Section information: 6. It was alleged that 
a crowd of persons attempted to intimidate election officials on the 
canvassing board of Miami-Dade County, Florida, during the presidential 
vote recount after the November 2000 election. It was alleged that this 
group's activities at the county courthouse during the recount 
intimidated the canvassing board into abandoning the recount.

Voting Section's actions taken to address allegation: The Voting 
Section attorney reviewed the allegations along with numerous accounts 
of events that transpired that day.

Voting Section's assessment of allegations: Based on the information 
gathered, the Voting Section determined that no cause of action existed 
under the civil enforcement provisions of the federal voting laws that 
the Voting Section is charged with enforcing.

Disposition by Voting Section: The Voting Section concluded that no 
further investigation was warranted and closed the matter.

Description based on Voting Section information: 7. There were 
allegations made after the November 2000 election that ballot boxes in 
two predominantly minority precincts in Miami-Dade County, Florida, had 
not been picked up on Election Day, and that they were allegedly later 
found in the polling places.

Voting Section's actions taken to address allegation: The Voting 
Section attorney examined voter turnout data for the two precincts in 
question. The Voting Section attorney also held discussions with the 
First Assistant County Attorney in Miami-Dade County, who in turn 
contacted the county supervisor of elections.

Voting Section's assessment of allegations: The discussions that the 
Voting Section conducted with counsel for Miami-Dade County indicated 
that all of the county's ballot boxes had been accounted for on that 
day. According to the county supervisor of elections, the boxes that 
were later located in the two precincts contained election supplies, 
not ballots. Analysis of data from the two precincts indicated that 
both precincts reported voter turnout rates in the expected range given 
the county's overall turnout rate.

Disposition by Voting Section: The Voting Section closed the matter 
because it lacked merit. According to the Voting Section, the evidence 
that the Voting Section collected made it seem doubtful that there were 
any missing ballot boxes.

Description based on Voting Section information: 8. The Voting Section 
opened this matter in August 2001 to initiate the monitoring of an 
election in New York City in November 2001 on the basis of observations 
made during the November 2000 election. Thirty federal observers and 
seven DOJ staff members monitored polling place procedures during 
municipal general elections in 2001 in Kings County (also known as 
Brooklyn) and in Bronx County. The Attorney General had previously 
certified both counties for federal observers pursuant to Section 6 of 
the Voting Rights Act. Also, 17 federal observers and 5 Voting Section 
attorneys monitored polling place procedures during the general 
election in 2002 in Brooklyn.

Voting Section's actions taken to address allegation: In pre-election 
activities, two Civil Rights Division attorneys met with officials from 
the New York City Board of Elections to discuss concerns about 
preparations for the election, including the need for poll worker 
training for the election, the need for voting machines to accommodate 
the number of registered voters, the need for Spanish-language voter 
registration materials for poll workers to distribute minority language 
assistance, and consolidation of polling places. A Voting Section 
attorney also attended four poll-worker training classes. After the 
election, the Voting Section attorneys met with several Board of 
Elections officials to debrief them.

Voting Section's assessment of allegations: Thirty federal observers 
monitored activities at 31 polling places in Bronx County and 12 
polling places in Brooklyn County during the municipal general 
elections. Three staff members from DOJ's Civil Rights Division and one 
AUSA for the Southern District of New York traveled with the observers 
to provide additional monitoring. Two Voting Section staff members 
visited six polling places in both counties. During the election, 
observers found that materials to be displayed to inform Spanish-
speaking voters of assistance to interpret the ballot were not always 
clear or in public view at nearly half of the polling places in both 
counties. The Board of Election officials were informed of this and 
took action. These officials noted that it was up to each polling place 
inspector to display the materials they are given. Poll workers were 
observed asking voters for identification, which was in violation of 
New York State law; Board of Election officials were notified of this 
and went to the polling place to address the issue. DOJ monitors did 
not witness any Spanish-speaking poll workers at the 12 polling 
locations visited in Brooklyn; this was discussed with Board of 
Election officials; however, DOJ officials found that appropriate 
language assistance was available in both counties. Seventeen federal 
observers and five attorneys from the Civil Rights Division monitored 
polling place procedures during the general election in Kings County. 
The Voting Section attorney who attended four poll-worker training 
classes found that the classes appropriately addressed minority 
language issues and assistance.

Disposition by Voting Section: The Voting Section closed the matter 
because the monitoring of the election was completed. Voting Section 
staff could not comprehensively identify failure by individual poll 
workers to post or provide all materials to Spanish-speaking voters 
because of the large number of election districts-nearly 2,000-and the 
small number of observers. However, the Voting Section found that the 
Board of Elections was very responsive to all of the Voting Section's 
concerns and sent Board officials to places where problems arose, 
usually within 30 minutes.

Description based on Voting Section information: 9. The Voting Section 
received an allegation from an African-American voter that a supervisor 
at a voting precinct in Georgetown County, South Carolina, 
discriminated against African-American voters during the 2000 
presidential election. The voter alleged that the supervisor treated 
African-American voters in a rude and discriminating manner. In talking 
to the complainant and others, it was learned that there were also 
alleged voter registration problems during the 2000 election related to 
precinct changes and the local DMV.

Voting Section's actions taken to address allegation: The Voting 
Section attorney interviewed officials with the Georgetown County Board 
of Registration and Elections, representatives of the Republican and 
Democratic parties, voters, and an attorney representing the county. 
The Voting Section attorney also interviewed an official who managed 
the Georgetown County DMV office regarding the second-hand allegations 
from a Democratic party representative regarding possible registration 
problems at the local DMV. After interviewing the DMV official and 
examining the forms that the DMV provides to drivers applying for new 
licenses to simultaneously allow them to register to vote, the Voting 
Section attorney noted that the form on the DMV driver's license 
application did not contain a box for people to check if they wanted to 
register to vote and that this might not adhere to the NVRA provision 
for a simultaneous process to apply for a driver's license and register 
to vote. In addition, in the interview with the employee in the local 
DMV office, the Voting Section attorney learned that they may have been 
only asking people applying for new drivers' licenses, not people 
renewing their licenses, if they wanted to register to vote. However, 
this employee further informed the Voting Section attorney that in 
October 2000 she received instructions from the head of the state DMV 
to ask every person who was applying for a driver's license whether he 
or she wished to register to vote, and she followed that instruction 
through the election.

Voting Section's assessment of allegations: Voting Section staff wrote 
to the Voter Registration and Election Commission for Georgetown County 
outlining the allegations concerning the rude treatment by the poll 
worker and the Voting Section's findings and asked the commission how 
it planned to respond. The county's Voter Registration and Election 
Commission responded in writing that the election supervisor was 
informed by letter that she would be reassigned to another precinct and 
not permitted to serve in a supervisory capacity for the June 11, 2002, 
election. She decided not to work the June 2002 election. Other issues 
examined in this investigation were not raised with the county in this 
letter. With respect to the precinct change allegations, the Voting 
Section learned that confusion as to proper voting precincts was likely 
the result of a change in the method of identifying addresses of 
voters. With respect to allegations about the DMV procedures, the 
Voting Section received no complaints from voters who indicated that 
the alleged problems at the DMV existed or resulted in denying them the 
right to vote. In addition, after the examination of the DMV forms and 
interview with the local DMV employee, it was concluded that there did 
not appear to be a violation of the NVRA.

Disposition by Voting Section: The Voting Section closed the matter on 
March 9, 2004. As of that date, the Voting Section had not received 
additional complaints concerning the treatment of African-American 
voters in Georgetown County or about voting registration issues 
previously investigated. According to the complainant, the election 
held on June 11,2002, went smoothly.

Description based on Voting Section information: 10. The Voting Section 
received a complaint alleging that the Seagraves Independent School 
District and the City of Seagraves, both in Texas, held elections 
without bilingual judges or bilingual training.

Voting Section's actions taken to address allegation: A Voting Section 
attorney visited Seagraves and the Seagraves Independent School Board. 
The Voting Section also contacted a newspaper to review published 
articles regarding the school board election.

Voting Section's assessment of allegations: Information in a newspaper 
article indicated that the allegations were untrue, and that all 
election material was produced in English and Spanish. The Voting 
Section attorney was told that confusion existed for all voters because 
of the present districting system. The Seagraves City Secretary wrote a 
letter to the Voting Section attorney stating that each year the city 
names a Hispanic judge who is also bilingual. The City Secretary also 
provided the Voting Section attorney with minutes of prior city council 
meetings highlighting the nomination and approval of the election 
judges, and a sample ballot printed in both English and Spanish.

Disposition by Voting Section: The Voting Section attorney suggested 
that the town should make an effort to educate voters of district 
boundaries by methods other than newspaper advertising. Subsequent to 
the election, the city of Seagraves sent a map of district boundaries 
and candidates running in each district to each city household. The 
Voting Section closed the matter.

Description based on Voting Section information: 11. During the 
November 2000 election, Miami-Dade County, Florida, allegedly engaged 
in practices that prevented the county's Creole-speaking Haitian-
American voters with limited ability to speak English from securing 
assistance at the polls. In circumstances where the county permitted 
voter assistance from persons of the voters' choice, the scope of the 
assistance was limited (e. g. , standing next to voters during poll 
worker demonstrations) and of little value to voters once they entered 
the voting booths.

Voting Section's actions taken to address allegation: After a full 
investigation, the Voting Section initiated litigation against Miami-
Dade County because of its alleged violation of Section 208 of the 
Voting Rights Act. Prior to initiating litigation, the Voting Section 
conducted an investigation of the county's voter assistance practices 
during the 2000 election. DOJ filed a complaint with the U. S. District 
Court in the Southern District for Florida on June 7, 2002.

Voting Section's assessment of allegations: Evidence gathered during 
the investigation demonstrated that Creole-speaking Haitian-American 
voters at several precincts were denied assistance from persons of 
their choice in violation of Section 208 of the Voting Rights Act. 
Oftentimes, only poll workers, who did not speak Creole, were permitted 
to assist the voters, and they limited their assistance to voter 
demonstrations outside the voting booths. The Voting Section did not 
find evidence that noncompliance with Section 208 was the result of 
intentional discrimination. In this regard, it was noted that the 
Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners passed ordinances in 1999 and 
2000 mandating that Haitian-Creole ballot translations be available in 
voting booths located at precincts where "significant" numbers of 
Haitian-American people vote.

Disposition by Voting Section: A consent order was entered into on June 
17, 2002, that, in part, prohibited the county from denying Haitian-
American voters assistance from persons of their choice and mandated 
that the county take certain steps to prevent violations of Section 208 
and to redress the harm caused these voters, such as modifying poll 
worker training to include instruction on how to handle requests for 
language assistance. The consent order is in effect through December. 
31, 2005. The case is open to monitor implementation of the consent 
order.

Description based on Voting Section information: 12. As described in 
DOJ's complaint, DOJ alleged that various election practices and 
procedures in Orange County, Florida, unlawfully denied or abridged the 
voting rights of Spanish-speaking citizens. The challenged practices 
concerned the alleged failure of the county to: (1) provide an adequate 
number of bilingual poll workers trained to assist Hispanic voters on 
Election Day; (2) ensure that poll officials allow Spanish-speaking 
voters to have persons of their choice assist them in casting their 
ballots; and (3) translate certain written election materials into 
Spanish.

Voting Section's actions taken to address allegation: After 
investigating these allegations, DOJ filed a complaint in the U. S. 
District Court for the Middle District of Florida on June 28, 2002, and 
entered into a consent decree with Orange County on October 9, 2002.

Voting Section's assessment of allegations: In the complaint, the 
Voting Section alleged that Orange County violated VRA Sections 203 and 
208.

Disposition by Voting Section: The case is open to monitor 
implementation of the consent decree. The consent decree permits DOJ to 
monitor elections in Orange County from October 9, 2002 until January 
31, 2005. The consent decree also mandates policies and procedures that 
Orange County must adopt with regards to treatment of Spanish-speaking 
voters. The consent decree is valid until January 31, 2005. DOJ did not 
contend that Orange County's failure to adhere to VRA Sections 203 and 
208 was the result of intentional discrimination.

Description based on Voting Section information: 13. As described in 
DOJ's complaint, DOJ alleged that Osceola County, Florida, engaged in 
various election practices and procedures that unlawfully denied 
Spanish-speaking citizens an opportunity equal to that of other 
citizens to vote. The challenged practices concerned: (1) the failure 
of poll officials to communicate effectively to Spanish-speaking voters 
necessary information concerning their eligibility to vote, voter 
registration status, identification requirements, and polling place 
changes and assignments; (2) the refusal of poll officials to allow 
certain Spanish-speaking voters assistance in voting by persons of 
their choice; and (3) hostile remarks by poll officials directed 
towards Hispanic voters with limited English proficiency.

Voting Section's actions taken to address allegation: After 
investigating the matter, DOJ filed a complaint in the U. S. District 
Court for the Middle District of Florida on June 28, 2002, and entered 
into a consent decree with Osceola County on July 22, 2002.

Voting Section's assessment of allegations: In the complaint, the 
Voting Section alleged that Osceola County violated VRA Sections 2 and 
208.

Disposition by Voting Section: The case is open to monitor 
implementation of the consent decree. The consent decree allows DOJ to 
monitor elections held in Osceola County from the date of the consent 
decree through January 31, 2005. It specifies procedures that the 
Osceola County Board of Elections must implement with regards to the 
treatment of Spanish-speaking voters and efforts the county must engage 
in to facilitate voting by Spanish-speaking voters. The consent decree 
is valid through January 31, 2005. DOJ did not contend that Osceola 
County intended to deny Spanish-speaking voters an equal opportunity to 
participate in the political process.

Description based on Voting Section information: 14. It was alleged 
that, in conducting elections in Reading City, Pennsylvania, Berks 
County denied Hispanic citizens with limited English proficiency an 
equal opportunity to participate in the political process and elect the 
representatives of their choice.

Voting Section's actions taken to address allegation: After extensive 
investigation, which included the monitoring of several elections held 
in the county, the Voting Section initiated litigation against Berks 
County because of its alleged violation of several provisions of the 
Voting Rights Act. DOJ filed a complaint with the U. S. District Court 
for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania on February 25, 2003.

Voting Section's assessment of allegations: In the complaint, the 
Voting Section alleged that actions contributing to the denial by Berks 
County to provide Hispanic citizens with limited English proficiency an 
equal opportunity to participate in the political process and elect the 
representatives of their choice included the following: poll officials 
directed hostile remarks at, and acted in a hostile manner toward, 
Hispanic voters to deter them from voting and make them feel unwelcome 
at the polls; poll officials engaged in election practices including 
the failure to communicate effectively with Spanish-speaking voters 
regarding necessary information about their eligibility to vote, voter 
registration status, identification requirements, and polling place 
changes and assignments, and turning away Hispanic voters at the 2001 
and 2002 elections; and Berks County failed to recruit, train, and 
maintain an adequate pool of Hispanic and bilingual poll officials 
despite their knowledge of the needs of Hispanic voters with limited 
English proficiency.

Disposition by Voting Section: On July 17, 2003, DOJ filed a motion for 
(1) permanent injunction and entry of final judgment that sought to 
permanently enjoin the county's conduct of elections using policies, 
practices, procedures, and methods that violate certain VRA 
requirements and (2) the court to issue an order authorizing OPM to 
appoint federal examiners pursuant to VRA to serve in Berks County 
through June 30, 2007. The court granted the United States' motion on 
August 20, 2003. The case remains open for monitoring and several 
elections have been monitored since entry of the consent decree.

Description based on Voting Section information: 15. As described in 
DOJ's complaint, DOJ alleged that the state of Tennessee engaged in 
practices that unlawfully denied certain citizens full and complete 
opportunities to register to vote in elections for federal office as 
mandated by NVRA. The challenged practices included the failure of the 
state and agency officials to: (1) provide applications to register to 
vote simultaneously with applications for motor vehicle driver's 
licenses (including renewal applications); (2) request only the minimum 
amount of information necessary to prevent duplicate voter registration 
and enable state election officials to assess the eligibility of the 
applicant and to administer voter registration and other part of the 
election process; (3) distribute voter registration applications with 
every application for public assistance or services to persons with 
disabilities; and (4) transmit completed voter registration 
applications in a timely manner.

Voting Section's actions taken to address allegation: After 
investigating this matter, DOJ filed a complaint against the state of 
Tennessee in the U. S. District Court of Tennessee on September 27, 
2002. On that same day, the state of Tennessee entered into a consent 
decree with DOJ.

Voting Section's assessment of allegations: In the complaint, the 
Voting Section alleged that Tennessee violated provisions in NVRA.

Disposition by Voting Section: The case is open to monitor 
implementation of the consent decree. The consent decree requires the 
state and state agencies to develop uniform procedures with regards to 
the voter application process and the implementation of NVRA and report 
progress to DOJ annually while the consent decree is in effect. The 
consent decree expires on August 1, 2005.

[End of table]

Election-Related Closed Preliminary Investigation and Matters and 
Closed Cases Initiated during Calendar Year 2002:

No.: 1; Preliminary Investigation/Matter/Case: Preliminary 
investigation;
Jurisdiction: Hinds County, Mississippi; 
Date investigation or matter initiated: November 2002;
DJ No.: No:

No.: 2; Preliminary Investigation/Matter/Case: Matter (election 
monitoring);
Jurisdiction: Apache and Navajo Counties, Arizona; 
Date investigation or matter initiated: Sep-02;
DJ No.: Yes.

No.: 3; Preliminary Investigation/Matter/Case: Matter (election 
monitoring);
Jurisdiction: Broward County, Florida; 
Date investigation or matter initiated: November 2002;
DJ No.: Yes.

No.: 4; Preliminary Investigation/Matter/Case: Matter (election 
monitoring);
Jurisdiction: Duval County, Florida; 
Date investigation or matter initiated: November 2002;
DJ No.: Yes.

No.: 5; Preliminary Investigation/Matter/Case: Matter;
Jurisdiction: Georgia; 
Date investigation or matter initiated: October 2002;
DJ No.: No[D].

No.: 6; Preliminary Investigation/Matter/Case: Matter;
Jurisdiction: Minnesota; 
Date investigation or matter initiated: October 2002;
DJ No.: Yes.

No.: 7; Preliminary Investigation/Matter/Case: Matter;
Jurisdiction: New Jersey; 
Date investigation or matter initiated: October 2002;
DJ No.: Yes.

No.: 8; Preliminary Investigation/Matter/Case: Matter (election 
monitoring);
Jurisdiction: Bexar County, Texas; 
Date investigation or matter initiated: October 2002;
DJ No.: Yes.

No.: 9; Preliminary Investigation/Matter/Case: Matter;
Jurisdiction: Hidalgo County, Texas; 
Date investigation or matter initiated: December 2002;
DJ No.: Yes.

No.: 10; Preliminary Investigation/Matter/Case: Case;
Jurisdiction: Oklahoma; 
Date investigation or matter initiated: August 2002 (case filed in 
September 2002);
DJ No.: Yes.

No.: 11; Preliminary Investigation/Matter/Case: Case;
Jurisdiction: Texas; 
Date investigation or matter initiated: March 2002 (case filed in March 
2002);
DJ No.: Yes.

Source: DOJ Civil Rights Division.

[D] According to the Voting Section, this matter did not receive a DJ 
number inadvertently.

[End of table]

Summary of Election-Related Closed Preliminary Investigation and 
Matters and Closed Cases Initiated during Calendar Year 2002:

Description based on Voting Section information: 1. The wife of a 
soldier from Hinds County, Mississippi, assigned to Guantanamo, Cuba, 
alleged that her husband and approximately 50 other soldiers from that 
county did not receive their absentee ballots in the mail. Hinds County 
acknowledged receiving their requests in mid-September of 2002, and the 
circuit clerk confirmed they were mailed in the first week of October 
2002. The Mississippi Secretary of State's office suggested that the 
soldiers fax in federal ballots but was not sure the ballots would be 
counted. That office also suggested to the soldier's wife that she 
contact the Voting Section. She reported to the Voting Section that 
soldiers from Madison and Rankin counties, also in Mississippi, did not 
receive their ballots until after the election. She also contacted the 
Assistant U. S. Attorney (AUSA) for Hinds County.

Voting Section's actions taken to address allegation: A Voting Section 
official discussed the allegation with an official in the Federal 
Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) under the Department of Defense (DOD), 
who said that someone in Hinds County told FVAP on November 20, 2002, 
that about 20 ballots had been sent to soldiers in Guantanamo. Voting 
Section staff also phoned the AUSA in Jackson, Mississippi, and noted 
in a memo that the AUSA had directed a local Federal Bureau of 
Investigation (FBI) agent to interview the chancery clerk, the 
registrar, and all others in the chain of custody of the ballots. The 
Voting Section also discussed asking FVAP to monitor transit of 
absentee ballots to soldiers from Hinds and Brandon Counties during the 
next election in response to the soldier's wife January 2003 request 
that the Voting Section keep these counties on its "radar screen. " The 
AUSA told the soldier's wife that an investigation revealed the ballots 
had been lost in the mail. The FBI agent concluded that the county 
officials had mailed the ballots to the soldiers, but they had been 
lost or disappeared. The private company that processed mail for the 
county told the FBI agent that they were unable to check the zip codes 
of mail processed on a particular day.

Disposition by Voting Section: The Voting Section closed the 
preliminary investigation after the AUSA concluded, and the Voting 
Section agreed, that there was no basis for bringing charges against 
anyone involved in the handling of the ballots because the ballots had 
been lost in the mail and no further action was needed.

Description based on Voting Section information: 2. On November 5, 
2002, federal election observers and Voting Section staff monitored 
polling place activities at 21 locations in Apache and Navajo Counties, 
Arizona. The Attorney General, pursuant to VRA Section 6, had certified 
these counties for federal observers. Since then, federal observers 
have documented problems related to the counties' inability to provide 
consistently effective Navajo language assistance to voters and other 
related circumstances affecting the Navajo voting population. The 
Voting Section was concerned about the following issues related to the 
primary held in September 10, 2002, and the general election held in 
November 5, 2002: (1) the counties' provision for Navajo language 
assistance, (2) voters being turned away at the polls, (3) crossover 
voting, and (4) polls not opening on time. During the 2000 election 
cycle and 2002 primary, federal observers documented several problems 
with the counties' provision of Navajo language assistance to voters. 
The Voting Section suggested that both counties distribute cassette 
tapes containing Navajo language ballot translations to poll workers. 
The counties committed to preparing and distributing the tapes to poll 
workers. Officials from both counties also informed the Voting Section 
that they would use updated flip charts for the November election. 
These charts, which were used for the September primary at the Voting 
Section's suggestion, displayed pictorial representations and written 
Navajo translations of each of the offices on the primary election 
ballot. There had been confusion in previous elections among many 
elderly Navajo voters who live near the Navajo/Apache county line about 
polling place and voter registration. These voters often vote in 
different locations for tribal and state/federal elections. Tribal 
elections do not recognize county boundaries. Poll workers at polling 
places near the county line apparently turned away dozens of elderly 
voters because of voting location confusion during the 2000 primary and 
general elections and the 2002 primary. In 2000, poll workers gave 
affidavit ballots to other crossover voters in the mistaken belief that 
the ballots would be accepted later. However, since these voters were 
not registered in the counties where they voted, their votes were 
considered invalid.

Voting Section's actions taken to address allegation: In September 
2002, the Voting Section met with the Apache County Election Director, 
the Apache County Deputy County Attorney, the Navajo County Election 
Director, the Navajo County recorder, and two Navajo County outreach 
workers to discuss several issues related to elections in the two 
counties. The Voting Section provided suggestions on how to prevent 
prior problems from recurring. The Voting Section observed the November 
2002 election. The original poll worker training schedules that the two 
counties had provided to the Voting Section allotted approximately 2 
hours for training. The Voting Section suggested having all-day 
training sessions, and the schedules were revised to allot 6- hours 
for training. The Voting Section suggested that both counties provide 
each polling place on the Navajo Reservation with voter registration 
lists from both counties, and train poll workers to check both lists 
and check with the appropriate county election department before 
turning voters away. Both counties agreed to adopt this suggestion. The 
Voting Section also expressed concern about polling places that opened 
late for the September primary. The counties agreed to address this 
prior to the November 2002 election. The counties' implementation of 
their Navajo Language election information program was inadequate. 
While the counties provided language assistance to many voters, the 
assistance was frequently insufficient and failed to provide consistent 
and accurate language translation of the offices and propositions on 
the ballot's 14 propositions. The Voting Section concluded that the 
counties must improve and expand their training program for 
interpreters. The federal observers reported that the interpreters and 
poll workers believed more training in Navajo language translation was 
necessary. Some poll workers told the observers that the audiotapes 
containing Navajo translations were too long and confusing. One polling 
place was not well organized, resulting in very long lines. The Voting 
Section reported this to the Navajo County Elections Director, who sent 
an outreach worker to remedy the problem. The line was moving more 
quickly by mid-afternoon. The number of voters turned away from the 
polls was less than during the September primary. However, while all 
the polling places had both counties' registration books, poll workers 
at most locations did not use them. Some did not know the books were 
available. At one Apache County location, observers reported that the 
Navajo county list was not present. The Voting Section informed the 
county elections director, who showed the Navajo County book to the 
polling place inspector. The poll workers had not removed the book from 
the elections supply box. The Voting Section felt that more training 
and practice would make the poll workers more familiar with this new 
system. There were no complaints about polls not opening on time.

Disposition by Voting Section: A November 22, 2002, memo discussing the 
monitoring of the November 5, 2002, election indicated that the Voting 
Section would meet in the future with election officials from both 
counties to discuss the November 5, 2002, election and develop methods 
to improve the counties' provision of language assistance and overall 
Election Day performance. The matter was closed after the election. 
According to the Voting Section, this is standard Voting Section 
procedure when irregularities are observed during election coverage. In 
the case of Navajo language assistance in these counties, the Voting 
Section stated that such outreach has been continuous for many years. 
Another memo discussing compliance and outreach efforts since the 2002 
election indicates many improvements in Navajo language assistance 
efforts as a result of this outreach, including: (1) improved poll 
worker training which included the use of pictorial flip charts to 
assist voters in understanding the ballot; (2) outreach and voter 
registration efforts on the reservation at various events; (3) the 
opening of new early voting locations on the Navajo Reservation; (4) 
the opening of a new satellite election office on the reservation to 
disseminate voter information and register voters; and (5) greater 
cooperation among the counties providing Navajo language assistance.

Description based on Voting Section information: 3. Voting Section 
personnel and 2 AUSAs monitored 84 precincts in Broward County, 
Florida, during the November 2002 election.

Voting Section's actions taken to address allegation: Actions taken by 
DOJ staff included interviewing the clerk of the precinct where a white 
male precinct worker who allegedly harassed African-American voters was 
employed about any complaints or problems with the assistant precinct 
clerk in question. DOJ staff spoke with four voters at this precinct 
regarding their experience voting and asked election officials to make 
chairs available for the disabled and elderly waiting in line to vote. 
They contacted county election officials about a voter who was told he 
could not vote because he had already sent an absentee ballot; the 
precinct clerk eventually verified that the voter had not been sent 
an absentee ballot, and the voter was allowed to cast his vote on 
election day. With regard to the absentee ballot issue, DOJ staff 
advised the poll official to contact the Broward County Election Board. 
In addition, DOJ staff: (1) gave a voter the toll-free telephone number 
for the Voting Section because the voter wanted to complain about the 
lack of voting machines; (2) asked a poll clerk and poll workers if 
they had received complaints about not having enough voting machines; 
and (3) spoke with two voters who complained about a precinct being 
hard to find. Voting Section staff provided assistance to help correct 
issues that arose during the monitoring. Examples of issues/problems 
observed were: (1) African-American voters felt somewhat harassed by a 
white male precinct worker; (2) a poll official did not want to allow a 
person to vote who said he had requested an absentee ballot but did not 
receive it; and (3) persons were turned away because of precinct 
changes due to redistricting, because they moved, and for other 
reasons.

Disposition by Voting Section: The Voting Section closed the matter 
because the election being monitored was completed.

Description based on Voting Section information: 4. At the request of 
Florida's Secretary of State, the Voting Section monitored the election 
in November 2002 in Duval County, Florida.

Voting Section's actions taken to address allegation: Voting Section 
attorneys monitored the election and facilitated the resolution of 
problems that arose by communicating proper election procedures to the 
Supervisor of Elections. Prior to monitoring the election, Voting 
Section attorneys met with the Supervisor of Elections, minority 
leaders in the community, leaders of the NAACP, and representatives 
from the local Democratic and Republican parties. They exchanged 
telephone information and invited each person or group to contact them 
with details of any problems that they might help address. They also 
provided guidance on issues that might arise to provide a common 
understanding of action that should be taken if a particular problem 
arose. The Voting Section attorneys worked with the Supervisor of 
Elections to improve election processes and were invited by the 
Supervisor of Elections to monitor elections in April and May 2003 to 
further improve upon their election processes. While monitoring the 
election, the Voting Section found various areas of clarification and 
improvement. One issue involved absentee ballots and Florida law 
allowing a person who requested an absentee ballot but did not submit 
it to vote at the polls. There was confusion when absentee ballots were 
submitted but rejected as being incomplete because they lacked voters' 
signatures and voters then being able to vote at the polls. Voters who 
submit absentee ballots are considered to have voted and cannot vote at 
the polls on election day if the absentee ballot is rejected. Also, 
poll workers had given incorrect ballots to some voters. Voters were 
turned away who lacked signed photo identification and were not allowed 
to vote by provisional ballot. There were also a few instances of 
insensitivity to minority voters and voters with disabilities.

Disposition by Voting Section: The Voting Section closed the matter 
because the election being monitored was completed.

Description based on Voting Section information: 5. Georgia state law 
requires counties to have absentee ballots on hand 45 days before a 
general election. Georgia missed the September 20, 2002, deadline for 
the November 5, 2002, general election because of the compressed 
election schedule in 2002. The 45-day deadline was set to comply with 
federal mandates to make it easier for U. S. military personnel 
stationed outside the United States to vote. Georgia had compressed its 
2002 primary and runoff election schedules such that the runoff was 
held only 49 days before the November 5 general election. This 
precluded the printing of the general election ballot in time for the 
mailing deadline required under state law. Georgia election officials 
had contacted FVAP during the first week of October regarding the 
state's compliance with the Uniformed and Overseas Citizen Absentee 
Voting Act (UOCAVA). Catoosa County ballots omitted the names of the 
Republican candidate for the U. S. Senate and the Republican 
gubernatorial candidate from the ballot. An allegation was made that 
this, among other absentee ballot irregularities, violated UOCAVA 
because the correct ballots, even if sent at the time this concern was 
raised on October 16, 2002, would not be received in time. Georgia's 
Secretary of State asked DOJ to bring suit against the state to extend 
the deadline for receipt of military and other absentee ballots.

Voting Section's actions taken to address allegation: FVAP advised the 
Voting Section that a senior official in Georgia's Elections Division 
said that election officials in each of Georgia's counties would 
photocopy all necessary ballots and send them to every military and 
overseas citizen absentee voter from whom an application had been 
received in time. All 154 Georgia counties had done this by October 7. 
A Voting Section attorney asked the source of the allegation in Catoosa 
County to keep in touch and gave the person who made the allegation the 
phone number and Web site for FVAP for additional information about 
FVAP's role in this process. The Voting Section attorney contacted 
FVAP, and a FVAP official agreed to contact officials in Catoosa and 
Ben Hill counties to get copies of their ballots and get back to the 
Voting Section attorney. The Voting Section attorney also contacted a 
state election official. FVAP favored going forward with the suit that 
Georgia's Secretary of State had suggested, but the Voting Section did 
not because (1) the number of voters affected was very small, less than 
132 overseas; (2) UOCAVA was amended in 1986 to add the federal write-
in absentee ballot as a back-up ballot when timely requested ballots do 
not reach voters in a timely matter (the Voting Section relies on the 
use of the back-up ballot as a remedy in UOCAVA lawsuits brought in 
primary elections, and had no reason to believe it was an inadequate 
remedy); and (3) the Voting Section believed the Secretary of State's 
true interest in the lawsuit stemmed from the large number of regular 
absentee ballots that were mailed late, and such ballots could not be 
part of any UOCAVA remedy.

Disposition by Voting Section: The Voting Section closed the matter.

Description based on Voting Section information: 6. The Voting Section 
conducted an investigation under UOCAVA and monitored a lawsuit in 
Minnesota over absentee ballots used in the November 2002 general 
election. At issue was the removal of Senator Paul Wellstone's name on 
the ballots and issuance of new ballots. Senator Wellstone died 11 days 
prior to the election, and former Vice President Mondale was designated 
the replacement candidate for the Democratic-Farmer-Labor party. This 
party argued for mass mailing of new absentee ballots, and the 
Republican party argued to do the mailing based on requests.

Voting Section's actions taken to address allegation: In an e-mail, the 
Voting Section attorney expressed concern about ballots being mailed, 
filled out, and returned between October 31 and November 5 (6 days). 
The Voting Section monitored state actions to address this issue.

Disposition by Voting Section: The Voting Section closed the matter 
after the state Supreme Court issued an order addressing the absentee 
ballot issue. The order specified the procedures for absentee ballots 
that included various options based on whether a voter had or had not 
already voted for Senator Wellstone.

Description based on Voting Section information: 7. A suit arose from 
the resignation of Senator Robert Torricelli from the general election 
and ballot for Democratic nomination to the U. S. Senate. The New 
Jersey Democratic party brought suit to secure a declaration that the 
New Jersey Democratic State Committee was permitted to select a 
qualified candidate to replace Sen. Torricelli. The New Jersey Supreme 
Court ruled in favor of the state Democratic party and required that a 
new ballot be prepared under the direction of the state Attorney 
General and a state court judge. Military and overseas ballots were to 
be given precedence and an explanatory letter was to be sent to all 
voters who received the new ballots. The Voting Section was concerned 
about the late transmittal of ballots to military and overseas voters.

Voting Section's actions taken to address allegation: The Voting 
Section prepared a discussion memo evaluating the impact that the New 
Jersey Supreme Court ruling would have on overseas absentee voters. The 
Voting Section monitored the New Jersey Democratic party lawsuit and 
state remedies to address this issue. The Voting Section noted that 
late transmittal of ballots to voters by airmail generally raises 
concerns that overseas voters would not have sufficient time to 
receive, mark, and return their ballots to local election officials. 
The Voting Section staff determined that New Jersey state law contains 
several unique features that obviate the need for 20-40 days of 
roundtrip airmailing. In addition, DOD provides a backup ballot 
available at military installations and U. S. embassies/consulates. 
This is referred to as a federal write-in absentee ballot. The Voting 
Section noted that the question might arise regarding how the state 
would address ballots that had already been transmitted to overseas 
voters and may have already been returned. The Voting Section 
determined that this was a question for state officials to resolve, and 
that the Voting Section planned to raise this issue when speaking with 
state officials in October 2002.

Disposition by Voting Section: The Voting Section concluded that New 
Jersey state law provides for several methods for UOCAVA voters to 
participate in federal elections over and above the use of regular 
absentee ballots sent by airmail. The Voting Section closed the matter 
due to lack of merit.

Description based on Voting Section information: 8. An attorney for 
Bexar County, Texas, requested, in a letter to the Voting Section dated 
October 18, 2002, expedited review of changes in the county's early 
voting process in the joint general and special election on November 5, 
2002. Changes included: (1) the one-time use of two-page ballots for 
partisan contested races, (2) procedures for counting ballots with 
straight-party votes, and (3) one-time use of a single two-sided ballot 
for partisan contested races supplemented by a separate sheet with 
duplicate voting instructions for the November 5, 2002, general 
election. Prior to that request, the League of United Latin American 
Citizens filed suit in U. S. District Court for the Western District of 
Texas alleging that Bexar County implemented changes to the conduct of 
the November general election without obtaining preclearance from DOJ.

Voting Section's actions taken to address allegation: The Chief of the 
Voting Section wrote a letter back to the attorney for Bexar County. 
The Voting Section had telephone discussions with various people 
regarding the ballot format issues. In a letter dated November 1, 2002, 
The Voting Section stated that the Attorney General did not interpose 
any objection to the specified changes, but noted that Section 5 of the 
Voting Rights Act provides that failure of the Attorney General to 
object does not bar subsequent litigation to enjoin enforcement of the 
changes. After the League of United Latin American Citizens filed the 
lawsuit, Bexar County advised the court that they initiated Section 5 
preclearance submission procedures on October 18, 2002, and October 21, 
2002. The county had not obtained preclearance from DOJ at the time the 
lawsuit was filed. The court agreed with both parties that the changes 
were required and allowed the changes to proceed pending the 
preclearance. On October 31, 2002, the court decided to retain 
jurisdiction over the case through the conclusion of the 2002 election 
process and ordered the parties to advise the court as to their 
positions on the case on or before December 1, 2002.

Disposition by Voting Section: The Voting Section closed the matter 
because it granted preclearance for the changes.

Description based on Voting Section information: 9. A U. S. 
Representative sent a letter to the Attorney General regarding possible 
voter suppression in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Louisiana, 
Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, and Texas. In 
Arkansas, Louisiana, and Maryland, it was alleged that African-
Americans were victims of voter suppression. In New Jersey and Texas, 
allegations of voter suppression involved Hispanics. The victims of 
voter suppression in the other states were not specified. According to 
the Voting Section, many of the matters referred to in the letter were 
matters under the jurisdiction of the Criminal Division and were being 
investigated by that Division when the letter was received. The Voting 
Section investigated two of the allegations referred to in the letter, 
including one in Hidalgo County, Texas, where it was alleged that the 
Republican party intimidated Hispanic voters countywide to dampen their 
turnout at the general election. The second allegation that the Voting 
Section investigated that was referred to in the letter was in New 
Jersey; the Voting Section opened a matter in 2003 to investigate this 
allegation (see information provided in this attachment for 2003). The 
most direct form of alleged intimidation in Hidalgo County was reported 
to have occurred when two poll watchers for a Republican candidate 
challenged Hispanic voters at early voting on the basis that a study 
indicated that 13,000 dead or ineligible voters were in the county's 
voter registration rolls. The Republican party held a press conference 
two weeks before the election where party representatives alleged that 
voter fraud could be a significant problem with the number of people 
listed incorrectly on the voter rolls.

Voting Section's actions taken to address allegation: A Voting Section 
memo referred to an allegation received from the U. S. Representative 
regarding possible intimidation at the November 2002 election held in 
Hidalgo County, Texas. The Voting Section attorney requested several 
pieces of documentation from the county elections administrator, 
including newspaper articles, letters between the elections 
administrator and the Republican elections administrator, and 
information regarding a study regarding the possibility of 13,000 dead 
or ineligible voters on the county voter rolls. The Voting Section 
attorney spoke with Hispanic voters and other minority contacts. The 
Voting Section attorney also analyzed voter turnout data for Hidalgo 
County and compared it to the state of Texas for 2002 and previous 
elections. The Voting Section determined that Hidalgo County's election 
administrator handled the situation well by expelling the poll watchers 
when the voting supervisors alerted the election administrator that two 
poll watchers for the Republican candidate were making random 
challenges to Hispanic voters. The Voting Section further determined 
that efforts on the part of the Republican party did not dampen 
minority turnout and did not discover instances of voter intimidation 
at the polls on election day. The Voting Section noted that minority 
contacts in the county: (1) did not think that the allegations of dead 
voters on the rolls dampened turnout; (2) did not believe that the 
challenges made by the two poll watchers caused fewer Hispanic voters 
to vote; and (3) did not report problems of voter intimidation at the 
polls. The Voting Section did not find apparent differences between the 
voter turnout data in the 2002 election compared to other elections.

Disposition by Voting Section: The Voting Section closed the matter on 
June 25, 2003, because it lacked merit. The Voting Section attorney 
observed that there was a tense atmosphere in Hidalgo County between 
some of the white Republicans and the Hispanic citizenry. The Voting 
Section recommended that this is an area that should be monitored in 
future elections.

Description based on Voting Section information: 10. As described in 
DOJ's complaint, DOJ alleged that the state of Oklahoma was not in 
compliance with UOCAVA. Election officials in Oklahoma could not mail 
absentee ballots to military and civilian overseas voters on a date 
sufficiently in advance of the September 17, 2002, primary runoff 
election to allow voters to receive the ballot, cast a vote, and return 
the ballot to election officials by the deadline established by state 
law.

Voting Section's actions taken to address allegation: After an 
expedited investigation, DOJ filed a complaint in the U. S. District 
Court for the Western District of Oklahoma on September 12, 2002, and 
entered into a consent decree with the state of Oklahoma on September 
17, 2002. In the complaint, the Voting Section alleged that the state 
of Oklahoma violated UOCAVA.

Disposition by Voting Section: The consent decree required the state to 
take corrective actions so that all uniformed military personnel and 
citizens living overseas who filed a timely request to receive an 
absentee ballot are given the opportunity to vote. The state did so 
through, among other things, the passage of UOCAVA compliance 
legislation in May 2003.

Description based on Voting Section information: 11. As described in 
DOJ's complaint, DOJ alleged that as a result of the compressed period 
of time between the Texas primary and runoff elections, election 
officials in the state of Texas failed to mail absentee ballots to 
military and civilian overseas voters on a date sufficiently in advance 
of the April 9, 2002, federal primary runoff election to allow such 
voters to receive the ballot, cast a vote, and return the ballot to 
election officials by the deadline established by state law.

Voting Section's actions taken to address allegation: After an 
expedited investigation, DOJ filed a complaint and motion for a 
temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction in the U. S. 
District Court for the Western District of Texas on March 22, 2002. In 
the complaint, the Voting Section alleged that the state of Texas 
violated UOCAVA.

Disposition by Voting Section: The court entered a temporary 
restraining order and preliminary injunction on March 25, 2002, 
permitting qualified Texas voters to use federal write-in absentee 
ballots for the April 9, 2002, election. According to the terms of the 
court order, the state was required to take actions to remedy absentee 
ballot issues in the future. This included permitting voters to submit 
write-in ballots if their ballots are not sent to them in time and 
counting the write-in ballots as valid as long as the voters living 
outside the United States are qualified to vote in Texas. A stipulation 
of dismissal was entered in February 2004 following passage by the 
state legislature of legislation remedying the United States' 
complaint.

[End of table]

Election-Related Closed Matter Initiated during Calendar Year 2003:

No.: 1;
Matter: Matter;
Jurisdiction: New Jersey;
Date matter initiated: January 2003;
DJ No.: Yes.

Source: DOJ Civil Rights Division.

[End of table]

Summary of Election-Related Closed Matter Initiated during Calendar 
Year 2003:

Description based on Voting Section information: 1. This matter was the 
second matter opened by the Voting Section in response to the November 
2002 letter from a U. S. Representative referred to in the previously 
described 2002 matter for Hidalgo County, Texas. There were allegations 
of voter intimidation in New Jersey. According to a newspaper article, 
e-mails were sent to Latino lawyers urging them to engage in an 
aggressive campaign to ensure ballot fairness. Attorneys for both the 
Democratic and Republican National Committees presented their case 
before the U. S. district court. The judge ruled a few days before the 
November 2002 election that there was "nothing sinister" in the 
Republican ballot fairness plan and characterized the plan as 
legitimate campaign activity.

Voting Section's actions taken to address allegation: The Voting 
Section attorney contacted a Latino political activist in the New York 
metropolitan area, the Treasurer of the New Jersey Hispanic Bar 
Foundation, and a community activist and attorney based in Newark, New 
Jersey.

Voting Section's assessment of allegations: The people that the Voting 
Section attorney contacted were not aware of the e-mail or any other 
threats or intimidation tactics against Latino voters. The Voting 
Section noted that its investigation yielded results similar to the 
judge's findings-that the ballot fairness plan mentioned in the e-mail 
did not raise concerns about Latino voter intimidation during the 
November 2002 general election.

Disposition by Voting Section: The Voting Section closed the matter 
because it lacked merit.

[End of table]

[End of section]

Comments from the Department of Justice: 

U.S. Department of Justice: 
Civil Rights Division:
Office of the Deputy Assistant Attorney General: 
Washington, D.C. 20530:

August 27, 2004:

William O. Jenkins, Jr.: 
Director:
Homeland Security and Justice Issues:
United States Government Accountability Office:
Washington, D.C. 20548:

Re: Department Of Justice's Activities to Address Past Election-Related 
Voting Irregularities - Draft Report GAO-04-1041R:

Dear Mr. Jenkins:

Thank you for providing the Department of Justice with a copy of a 
draft of the Government Accountability Office (GAO) report entitled 
"Department of Justice: Activities to Address Past Election-Related 
Voting Irregularities." This letter constitutes the Justice 
Department's formal comments, and I request that it be included in the 
final report.

The Department appreciates the GAO's, and the requesting members', 
interest in this most important issue. Indeed, of all the areas of 
responsibility charged to the Civil Rights Division, none ranks more 
highly than protecting the franchise.

Since 2001, the Division has worked steadily to protect federal voting 
rights. We have directed substantial resources to implementing the 
electoral reforms of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 ("HAVA"), 
including working with all states and territories to facilitate their 
preparedness to comply with the HAVA provisions that took effect on 
January 1, 2004. We also have taken unprecedented steps to protect the 
rights of language minority voters. And we have moved strongly to 
ensure that all American citizens overseas, including our men and women 
in uniform, have an opportunity to participate in the democratic 
process. Finally, as your draft report demonstrates, the Division has 
significantly increased the numbers of monitors and observers deployed 
to ensure compliance with federal voting rights. In short, this 
Division has been fully attentive to the challenge of protecting 
federal voting rights, and we are gratified to see our successful 
record reflected in your draft report.

With regard to the specific recommendations your draft report has made, 
we are pleased to accept both. In the Division's view, each will be a 
salutary addition to the many steps already taken to improve 
protections of federal voting rights. For that reason, the Assistant 
Attorney General for Civil Rights has already directed implementation 
of your recommendations.

With regard to the balance of the draft report, we appreciate the 
opportunity to have worked with GAO personnel on this audit. As with 
any report on an issue of such a critical nature, it is of the utmost 
importance that the report be both complete and accurate. Accordingly, 
we also appreciate the opportunity to provide comments. We must, 
however, register our disappointment that, while GAO took more than 
fifteen months to investigate and compile its draft report, you offered 
the Civil Rights Division only one week to review and comment on the 
voluminous document. Moreover, when the Division explained the 
difficulties and potential for error raised by such an abbreviated 
review, GAO offered just one additional week. This restriction has 
severely hampered our ability to provide the type of thorough review 
appropriate to such an important document, a particularly unfortunate 
consequence given that the draft report fails to capture accurately 
substantial portions of the Voting Section's work. Nevertheless, we 
have endeavored to provide as detailed and illuminating a set of 
comments as possible in the permitted time. Our specific comments 
follow:

1. Tracking Election Monitoring Activities:

First, the GAO recommends establishing within the Department's ICM 
system a mechanism for tracking and reporting election-monitoring 
activities. As noted, the Assistant Attorney General has already taken 
steps to implement this recommendation, and the Division will implement 
an electronic means of tracking such data.

At the same time, however, it is important that the draft report not 
leave the reader with the suggestion that the Division presently lacks 
any system for tracking its election monitoring activities. See Letter 
at v; Draft Report at 41. This would be incorrect. The Voting Section 
does currently have procedures that effectively track election 
monitoring activities. Since the mid-1980s, the Voting Section has 
maintained logs detailing this information. As your records should 
show, the Division provided your investigators with a full explanation 
of these procedures in its May 25 response to your inquiries. The 
Division also provided you with the actual charts used for this 
tracking for the years 2000-2004. These charts provide detailed 
information about the state, the name of the jurisdiction monitored, 
the date of election, and the number of OPM observers and DOJ personnel 
who monitored the election. The Voting Section has found this system to 
be adequate and effective. Moreover, the existing logs are accurate and 
easily accessible.

2. Incorrect and Outdated Data Regarding Section 203 Work:

It is also important that the final report reflect the most up-to-date 
information possible about the Voting Section's enforcement activities. 
Specifically, with regard to the Division's enforcement of Section 203 
of the Voting Rights Act, while the draft report purports to have 
reviewed data through March 15, 2004, it discusses enforcement of 
Section 203 only through 2002. See Draft Report at 27. We have 
previously noted to you that the Division undertook a significant 
number of additional cases related to Section 203 and language minority 
issues in 2002, 2003, and 2004. Yet, the draft report fails to mention 
these. The Division thus respectfully requests that the draft report be 
corrected to reflect our full record. Specifically, Civil Rights 
Division attorneys contacted all, and personally visited many of, the 
296 counties covered under Section 203 to help guide local election 
officials in complying with the law's dictates. In 2003, the Division 
also initiated an additional two lawsuits (one under Section 2 and 
Section 208 of the Voting Rights Act and one under Section 203 of the 
Voting Rights Act) not reflected in the draft report, and we filed an 
additional 5 cases in 2004 (each under Section 203 of the Voting Rights 
Act). The cases are referenced in Attachment 1 to this letter. To put 
this in perspective, the Division has filed as many Section 203 cases 
since May 2004 as were filed in the previous eight years. Moreover, the 
cases filed since May 2004 have provided comprehensive minority 
language election programs to more voters than all previous Section 203 
cases combined.

In addition to the foregoing filings, a number of additional 
jurisdictions voluntarily modified their practices after being 
contacted by the Division. In this respect, it is important to note a 
substantial restraint on the Division's authority. The remedies 
provided under the voting rights laws only provide for prospective 
relief for violations. In other words, even if the Department's 
investigation reveals that a particular jurisdiction may have violated 
the law in the past, if the jurisdiction changes its election 
procedures to comply with the law so it is no longer in violation, our 
investigation becomes moot and we cannot litigate to ask for remedies 
that are no longer needed. Unlike private plaintiffs filing litigation 
in tort cases, the Department cannot obtain relief for past violations 
that are no longer occurring. This is especially important to keep in 
mind when reviewing matters in states that passed voting reform 
legislation changing their election administration.

3. Undated Information on UOCAVA Work:

On page 28 of the draft report, the third bullet point about the 
lawsuit filed in Georgia under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens 
Absentee Voting Act of 1986 should be corrected to reflect that a court 
order was granted:

"Obtained a court order in an UOCAVA lawsuit in July against the 
state of Georgia for similar emergency relief order for 
its primary election."

4. Updated Information on HAVA Work:

On page 29 of the draft report, the summary of the Division's 
activities under the Help America Vote Act of 2002 fails to mention the 
first HAVA enforcement action filed by the Voting Section. We 
respectfully request that the following bullet point be added:

Filed its first enforcement action in California against a county for 
failing to fully implement HAVA.

The case is United States v. San Benito County, California (N.D. Cal.). 
A complaint was filed on May 26, 2004 alleging, in addition to a 
violation of Section 203, a violation of the voter information 
provisions of HAVA. A consent decree requiring actions by the county to 
remedy the violations is pending review and approval by the court.

5. Documentation of Complaints of Alleged Election 2000 Voting 
Irregularities:

As the GAO draft report itself notes, "[c]onfidence in our election 
processes is of utmost importance." Draft Report at vi. Moreover, 
confidence is assisted by "accurately recording and documenting 
[election related] activities in as clear a manner as possible." Id. 
This is no less true for your report as for our record-keeping. 
Accordingly, it is imperative that the final report accurately capture 
the full facts surrounding the Division's efforts during the 2000 
election. At present, the draft report fails to do so.

Your draft letter to Congress and draft report repeatedly references 
the Division's documenting of public telephone calls during the 2000 
Presidential election. These references may be construed to imply that 
an alternate means of documenting such public contacts would have 
enabled the Division to identify the existence of violations of federal 
law warranting further investigation. It is important that the GAO be 
clear that it is reaching no such conclusion, because such a conclusion 
simply would not be accurate.

The chief difficulty in the draft report's summary is its nearly 
exclusive focus on telephone logs maintained by contractors hired by 
the Department to record calls coming into the Department's main 
switchboard in the days after the 2000 election. The draft report 
contends that these logs were insufficiently detailed. However, the 
draft report fails to note that these logs made up only a small portion 
of all of the records of phone calls received by the Division. 
Therefore, any shortcomings in these logs are extremely unlikely to 
have changed the course of subsequent investigations.

As we previously advised GAO, (DOJ Response to April 7 Information 
Request), these contractors were hired to take phone calls from the 
public only during the weekend following the election, when the 
Division's offices would normally otherwise have been closed. The 
Division decided to afford the public this extra service after the 
Department's main switchboard received thousands of calls from around 
the country inquiring into the situation in Florida. In addition, the 
Voting Section's telephone lines received an elevated number of calls.

In focusing almost exclusively on the contractor logs, the draft report 
overlooks the call logs maintained by the Voting Section itself in 
2000. These provided extensive documentation about callers and a 
description of the callers' complaints, and have proved reliable and 
accurate. Moreover, the vast majority of calls received were tracked 
through these logs. Therefore, the Division respectfully notes that 
during the 2000 election it did have an effective means of tracking 
election-related phone calls.

In our April 2004 response, we provided you substantial detail 
regarding this additional means for tracking public election-related 
inquiries. Specifically, the Division's 800 number system was modified 
to permit as many persons as possible to express their views. It was 
temporarily reconfigured to provide four caller options to: (1) allow 
persons to express general opinions about the election (which 
represented the overwhelming majority of the calls); (2) provide 
specific information about voting-related incidents outside Florida; 
(3) provide specific information about voting-related incidents inside 
Florida; or (4) provide specific information about non-2000 election-
related matters.

This modified system took effect late in the day on Thursday, November 
9, 2000, and was discontinued following resolution of the Presidential 
election. The calls coming into the temporary 800 system were reviewed 
regularly by Voting Section personnel beginning on November 13, 2000. 
Return calls were made when there was some indication that the caller 
had substantive information about a specific voting rights violation' 
Separate log forms tracked each of the 800 number options. Calls 
expressing general views without conveying specific information about 
voting rights violations were recorded on forms similar to the 
contractor logs, with category columns listed for each state (although 
these forms were changed periodically to reflect the changing Florida 
election situation). Calls made under the other options were recorded 
on log forms providing for much more specific information, including 
name, phone number, and a detailed description of the complaint. We 
recently provided GAO with these logs. In addition, we invited GOA 
staff to meet with Voting Section staff involved in dealing with the 
public during the 2000 election. Regrettably, GAO declined this 
invitation.

6. Nature of the Calls Received After the 2000 Election:

In addition to focusing on only a subsection of the calls received, the 
draft report also fails to properly note the substance of the vast 
majority of phone calls received by the Department following th 
November 2000 election.

First, the draft report fails to note the fact that of the thousands of 
calls received by the Department's switchboard during this period, 
upwards of 95 percent did not provide specific complaints of possible 
violations of federal voting rights laws, but rather simply reflected 
citizen frustration or anger over the ongoing election dispute. This 
assessment was made by the Voting Section's experienced, career 
professional staff, including both trial attorneys and management. 
Moreover, determinations were made by staff only after receiving 
initial reports from the Department's switchboard operators, engaging 
in hundreds of conversations with citizens calling into the Voting 
Section's phone lines, and reviewing the contractor logs that were 
faxed to the Voting Section on an hourly basis.

[1] In our suggested changes to the section entitled "November 2000 
Election Telephone Logs" of your draft Statement of Facts, which we 
sent to you on August 4, 2004, we explained the specifics of this 
additional call tracking system. Unfortunately, these changes were not 
incorporated in GAO's draft report.

Second, the draft report fails to note that the vast majority of the 
calls received by the contractor lines came from New York and 
California; the number of calls from Florida was relatively small. The 
vast majority of these expressed frustration over the situation in 
Florida, and were based on second-hand information and media stories.

The same was also true for the majority of calls originating from 
Florida. Voting Section personnel followed up with callers from Florida 
to determine whether they had substantive information about the Florida 
election. Again, however, the vast majority of these callers were 
calling to express frustration at the ongoing election dispute and had 
no specific information about federal law violations. In addition to 
following up with these callers, Voting Section personnel also pursued 
other avenues of complaints (e.g., calls made by voters directly to the 
Voting Section, complaint logs generated by the NAACP Voter Fund, 
hearings conducted by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and the 
NAACP, incidents receiving a large amount of publicity, etc.) to 
determine if federal laws had been violated.

As noted at the outset, it is imperative that the draft report 
accurately reflect these facts. At the same time, the Division fully 
concurs in the GAO's recommendation that an expanded recording system 
be implemented. For the 2004 election, the Division will continue to 
refine its tools for recording election-related calls to allow the 
public access to the Voting Section's complaint process.

7. Criminal Investigations ions:

As you are aware, the GAO audit also examined the work done by the 
Criminal Division's Public Integrity Section, which is responsible, 
along with United States Attorneys' Offices, for investigating and 
prosecuting federal election crimes. The Chief of the Public Integrity 
Section, Noel Hillman, has asked us to include his comments to the 
portion of the draft report that pertains to the work of the Criminal 
Division. The first paragraph on page 22 of the draft report provides 
incorrect information about the training received by Assistant U.S. 
Attorneys. There are annual public corruption training conferences held 
by the Justice Department for Assistant United States Attorneys 
(AUSAs), and these include presentations on federal election crimes. 
These conferences are available to all AUSAs, including the AUSAs who 
are the designated district election officers. Some, but not all, of 
the 93 AUSAs who are their district's designated election officers may 
attend these conferences. In addition to these public corruption 
conferences, the district election officers are now attending the 
annual Ballot Access and Voting Integrity Conference, the first of 
which was held in 2002, to receive training on both civil rights issues 
important to ballot access as well as voting integrity issues important 
to election crime matters. Please note that the name of this annual 
conference is the "Ballot Access and Voting Integrity Conference," not 
the "Voting Integrity Conference."

In conclusion, we appreciate the opportunity to work with your staff 
concerning the important work of the Voting Section in enforcing 
federal voting rights. We are hopeful that the misstatements and 
inaccurate characterizations in this draft report will be corrected 
prior to its release.

Sincerely, 

Signed by: 

Bradley J. Schlozman:
Deputy Assistant Attorney General: 

[End of section]

(440350):

FOOTNOTES

[1] Election-related refers to a preliminary investigation, matter, or 
case that the Voting Section initiated based on allegations about a 
specific election. A matter is an activity that has been assigned an 
identification number but has not resulted in a court filing of a 
complaint, indictment, or information. A case is an activity that has 
been assigned the same identification number that it had as a matter 
and has resulted in the court filing of a complaint, indictment, or 
information.

[2] Internal controls are integral components of an organization's 
management that provide reasonable assurances of objectives that 
include, among other things, efficient operations. They comprise the 
plans, methods, and procedures used to meet missions, goals, and 
objectives and, in doing so, support performance-based management. For 
additional information on internal controls, see GAO Internal Control: 
Standards for Internal Control in the Federal Government, AIMD-00-
21.3.1 (Washington, D.C.:November 1, 1999).

[3] 42 U.S.C.  15301 to 15545. 



[4] 42 U.S.C.  1973, 1973b(f)(2).

[5] The jurisdictions targeted for "coverage" are those evidencing 
discriminatory voting practices, based upon a triggering formula, as 
defined in Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act (42 U.S.C. 1973b). The 
Attorney General and the Director of the Census have responsibility for 
determining which jurisdictions are covered by the triggering formula, 
and their determinations are not reviewable in any court and are 
effective upon publication in the Federal Register.

[6] See also, section 3 of the Voting Rights Act (42 U.S.C.  1973a).

[7] 42 U.S.C.  1973ff-2(a).

[8] Id.  1973ff-1(3).

[9] 42 U.S.C.  1973gg. 

[10] 42 U.S.C.  1973gg-2.

[11] Id.  1973gg-3(a).

[12] Id.  1973gg-5(a)(2), (a)(3), (a)(4), (a)(6)(A)(i).

[13] Id.  1973gg-6(b).

[14] 42 U.S.C.  1973ee to 1973ee-6. 

[15] Id.  1973ee-1(b)(2)(ii).

[16] Id.  1973ee-2, 1973ee-3.

[17] 42 U.S.C.  15511.