The PJ Tatler

Justice Dept. to Monitor Wisconsin Elections with Walker Challenger

The Department of Justice announced today that it is sending monitors to tomorrow’s election in Wisconsin.

Voters there will be casting ballots in the Republican presidential primary, as well as for mayor of Milwaukee, in which Democrat Tom Barrett is seeking re-election.

“The Justice Department announced today that the Civil Rights Division will monitor the election on April 3, 2012, in Milwaukee,” the DoJ said in a press release. “The monitoring will ensure compliance with the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and other federal voting rights statutes. The Voting Rights Act prohibits discrimination in the election process on the basis of race, color or membership in a minority language group. In addition, the act requires certain covered jurisdictions to provide language assistance during the election process. The city of Milwaukee is required to provide assistance in Spanish.”

“Justice Department personnel will monitor polling place activities in Milwaukee,” the DoJ continued. “Civil Rights Division attorneys will coordinate federal activities and maintain contact with local election officials.”

Justice said it sends hundreds of monitors from the Office of Personnel Management and from within its own department around the country to watch elections each year.

Barrett lost the 2010 governor’s race to Scott Walker.

Hours after the state’s Government Accountability Board announced Friday that Walker would face a recall election in June, Barrett announced he would be jumping into the race for a Walker rematch, should the Democract win the May 8 primary.

Barrett has clashed with unions who were urging him not to get into the race and hurt the chances of their candidate, former Dane County executive Kathleen Falk.