Monday, November 05, 2012

You Still Have Some Rights

If you believe that you have been denied the right to vote based on your race, color, or language minority status or that otherwise your voting rights under federal law have been violated, you may contact the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice.

Civil Rights Division attorneys in both the Voting and Criminal Sections in Washington, D.C., will be ready to receive election-related complaints of potential violations relating to any of the statutes the Civil Rights Division enforces.   Attorneys in the division will take appropriate action and will consult and coordinate with local U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and with other entities within the Department of Justice concerning these complaints before, during, and after Election Day, as appropriate.

Civil Rights Division staff will be available by phone to receive complaints related to ballot access (1-800-253-3931 toll free or 202-307-2767) or by TTY (1-877-267-8971).   In addition, individuals may also report complaints, problems, or concerns related to voting by fax to 202-307-3961, by email to and, closer to Election Day, by complaint forms that may be submitted through a link on the department’s website, at .
Complaints related to violence or threats of violence at a polling place should, in the first instance, always be reported to local police authorities by calling 911. 

laws prohibit discrimination based on race or membership in a minority language group; prohibit intimidation of voters; provide that voters who need assistance in voting because of disability or illiteracy can obtain assistance from a person of their choice; require minority language election materials and assistance in certain jurisdictions; provide for accessible election machines for voters with disabilities; require provisional ballots for voters who assert they are eligible but whose names do not appear on poll books; provide for absentee ballots for service members, their family members and U.S. citizens living abroad; and require states to ensure that citizens can register at drivers’ license offices, public assistance offices , other state agencies and through the mail; and include requirements regarding maintaining voter registration lists.      

Additional information:

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