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Civil Rights Concerns For County's Spanish-Speaking Voters Prompt Feds To Step In On Election Day

Friday the DOJ announced that Riverside County is one of 17 jurisdictions nationwide that will see federal observers from its Civil Rights Division monitoring polling place activities.

After some complaints were filed with the U.S. Department of Justice regarding Riverside County’s lack of Spanish-speaking poll workers, the county’s Registrar of Voters stepped up – and the impact will be felt on Election Day.

Friday the DOJ announced that Riverside County is one of 17 jurisdictions nationwide that will see federal observers from its Civil Rights Division monitoring polling place activities to ensure there are no irregularities and that all voters have access to the ballot on Election Day. 

The only other California jurisdiction on the list of 17 was Alameda County.

DOJ personnel are also expected to monitor an additional 34 jurisdictions nationwide, but none are in California.

According to Art Tinoco, chief deputy director for the Riverside County of Registrar of Voters, the groups that filed complaints have not been disclosed to his office.

“The Department of Justice did not disclose that information to us,” Tinoco said.

DOJ spokeswoman Dena Iverson declined to release the specific information to Patch.

The process of improving access to the ballot box in Riverside County began in January 2010 when the county entered into an agreement with the DOJ promising it would meet 26 standards to ensure all citizens have access during federal elections, Tinoco said.

Among the 26 conditions was ensuring that bilingual poll workers are available at polling places that serve a high number of registered voters with Spanish surnames, Tinoco said. In total, the county had to bring on 1,095 bilingual poll workers for this Tuesday’s election or face a costly legal challenge from the DOJ, Tinoco explained.

At press time, the county is short by 13 bilingual poll workers, all in Southwest Riverside County, Tinoco said.

“There are a lot of families in that area and they work,” he said. “They don’t have time to volunteer.”

[Are you bilingual and interested in helping out? Click here for more information.]

Tinoco stressed that any non-English-speaking registered voter should feel comfortable coming to the polls on Tuesday.

“If there’s anyone out there who needs assistance at the polls, we are there to help,” he said.

In the days leading up to and throughout Election Day, Civil Rights Division staff members will be available by telephone to receive complaints related to possible violations of the federal voting rights laws (toll free 1-800-253-3931 or 202-307-2767 or TTY 1-877-267-8971). In addition, individuals may also report such complaints by fax to 202-307-3961, by email to voting.section@usdoj.gov and by a complaint form on the department’s website: www.justice.gov/crt/about/vote/.  

Paul Ruddy November 03, 2012 at 06:18 AM
That's right Jason. Have some compassion for the citizens who don't give a sh-t about speaking the language of the country that grants people of all persuasions sanctuary from a myriad of evils around the world. But why stop with the Spanish speaking citizens who spit on our language. Let's not discriminate against the Russian speaking citizens, and what about the Chinese, the Koreans, Vietnamese, Croatians, Africans, etc., etc. They should have interpreters of all languages on the earth available at all voting booths - just in case. What the f-ck makes Mexicans so special that Americans want to bend over backwards to accommodate them but give absolutely no consideration for the other European, Asian and African immigrants.
LogicalSide November 03, 2012 at 06:35 AM
I love this country! Everyone must abide by the LAWS until it affects them. The USCIS STATES "You can READ, WRITE AND SPEAK ENGLISH." PERIOD. No exceptions. So....why do we make exceptions?! Now, the DOJ and the ACLU want to get involved with NON CITIZENS. A-(C)IVIL-LU. I don't care what party you are from. This makes no sense!
Paul Ruddy November 03, 2012 at 06:45 AM
You're talking about those citizens that filled out the LEGAL paperwork and RESPECTED the legal process of obtaining LEGAL citizenship. Those who waited years in their respective countries until our country granted their requests for entry and eventual citizenship. NOT the beaners who use their babies as immigration footballs, who literally dive across the border and score a touch-down with an American baby - also known as ANCHOR BABIES. Talk about the fruit of the forbidden tree, or getting through the back door what you can't get through the front door. And last, but not least, don't forget about the Amnesty reward for the long-term career criminal illegal aliens. Yes I vote, but do I REALLY believe in the system? get f-cken' real!
Paul Ruddy November 03, 2012 at 07:01 AM
Dude, WTF! Why is it that beaners have no problem discriminating against all other non-English speaking American citizens. If you're going to argue that there need to be Spanish-to-English interpreters at all voting booths then you must concede that all other Citizens speaking other languages should be afforded the same EQUAL treatment. It has to be all or nothing: it's the American way!
Paul Ruddy November 03, 2012 at 07:14 AM
Ach, you missed the REAL gist: It's a Mexican-American thing. This B.S. isn't about Russian citizens or Laotians, or Africans or any other immigrant citizens from anywhere else except south of the Rio Grande. It's about a mentality that has no interest in the American way of life except how they can exploit our weakness as a people. We need a revolution in this country to start all over again because we the people is merely an out-dated expression. We need to get back to the beauty that our once great country once was.
Paul Ruddy November 03, 2012 at 07:29 AM
My kid is in Kindergarten at Machado Elementary School - 99% Hispanic. I was late picking my kid up (about 5 minutes) so I had to go to the office to get her. Because I'm a gavacho (a white, non-Hispanic male) the Hispanic office worker demanded I.D. The problem was that there were 2 of us at the counter picking up our kids. The other parent (a Hispanic female) was on the verge of panic (obviously she had no valid legal documentation) until the Hispanic office worker clarified that only I was required to produce documentation. It's this kind of blatant discrimination that is eroding the American way of life in Southern California. Southern California is now known as Northern Mexico.
Cyclist November 03, 2012 at 10:50 AM
I don't know why you are all getting worked up about this story? We already know that the ignorant "sheep" of California are going to vote for Obozo and every tax initiative on the ballot. I mean, this is the same state that re-elected Governor Moonbeam. I love California, but nothing that happens in this state surprises me anymore.
Martha L. Bridges November 03, 2012 at 11:49 AM
What is missing from this article is Riverside County’s long history of voter discrimination and intimidation, and documented tampering with ballots - especially here in the Southwest area. Years ago citizen groups banded together and actually escorted the vehicles transporting ballots to the ROV to be counted, because large numbers of ballots so often seemed to get "lost" along the way in previous elections. The DOJ has worked with Riverside County for many years now to correct these problems, and they had provided very clear guidelines and goals in the past which Riverside and the ROV had to meet. The DOJ's current actions are a result of the continuing complaints and the failure of the county to meet the established, agreed upon goals. I have done poll watching in the past, and personally witnessed incidents of blatant voter intimidation. It does exist and should be stopped. The focus of concern needs to shift to the voting fraud which county officials commit while local politicians along with city and county government officials turn a blind eye to it thus condoning the illegal behavior. People make such a fuss about the very small number of individual voter fraud; yet look the other way while government officials attempt to influence our elections by disenfranchising huge numbers of citizens who have the legal right to vote. Protection of voters’ rights need to be strengthened again nationally, and the FPPC needs to be strengthened here in California.
So Cal White Boy November 03, 2012 at 11:50 AM
Im all for the finger idea!!! And yes I call Bullshit!
tom November 03, 2012 at 12:54 PM
I see the U.N. Hand in this.
LBV Collins November 03, 2012 at 01:53 PM
Oh good grief. Let me guess: Agenda 21, One World Government, Zionist Banker Oligarchs.
LBV Collins November 03, 2012 at 02:02 PM
I agree, ACH... and well stated Martha. The only indication we have of rampant voter fraud during this election cycle is from the firm hired by Republicans, Strategic Allied Consultants . This GOP-backed consulting firm "...may have submitted 'hundreds' of faked voter registration forms in Florida, according to the Florida Department of State. ... Strategic Allied Consultants was [also] registering voters on behalf of the RNC in five battleground states: Florida, Virginia, North Carolina, Colorado and Nevada." [1] 1. http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/OTUS/voter-registration-fraud-gop-backed-firm-spreads/story?id=17370445#.UJUiNoasf3A
Nopal November 03, 2012 at 02:48 PM
I become US CITIZEN a few years ago and before i did the test i ask my americans white anglo cooworkers some of the questions thad i will have to face whit the emigration oficer they did not know the enswers, not even who said gibme liberty or gibme death. Asi que diganme ustedes que clase de americanos se consideran ustedes si no conocen su propia historia, solo por ser blancos yo soy nacido en Mexico y en 10 años logre muchas mas cosas que muchos americanos en toda su vida. Iand i now my spelling its horroble but i never whent edtidied yor lenguage. Thanks.
Charles Ferrell November 03, 2012 at 04:49 PM
Naturalized U.S. Citizens often are more informed about our great nation's history and guiding documents and principles than natural born citizens. Immigrant-citizens have always been among our nation's best and most loyal citizens. They often and usually do appreciate the greatness of the United States of America and our American culture because they have the nation of their heritage from which to compare. If they though their nation of birth was so great, they would have stayed there. Instead, they -- as human beings are likely to do -- sought out a better place, a better place to live, work and raise a family, so they chose America and decided formally become a part of this great nation's heritage by joining our American family as our fellow citizens. Keep in mind that in America, once you are a citizen, you sit side-by-side with all of us citizens. It matters not the process you followed to become a citizens -- by luck of the draw (birth to one or both parents who are American citizens) or through the process of naturalization. A citizen is a citizen is a citizen. To those who were born here or born to a parent or parents who were citizens -- congratulations. To those who came here from another place and showed us already here the respect to follow the process and become a fellow citizen -- welcome. You never have to give up your heritage, wherever it was based, to be an American. You can cherish your heritage as you welcome your new heritage as an American.
Tina Mull November 03, 2012 at 06:21 PM
My mother immigrated from Japan. She came by marriage to my father. She received a green card, but immediately submersed herself into the American language, history, and social aspects. Very soon after, she took the test, and legally became a citizen. She raised my father's 3 kids and then 3 more kids that she and my father had together. She never taught us how to speak Japanese. Every night, after the kids were cared for, she studied all of the children's schoolwork, so that she was fluent enough to help with homework. She reads, writes, speaks and breathes American. Coming to America was not a step up for her. She came from a very well to do family. She accepted the responsibilities of caring for 3 children who were not hers, and also 3 more. She actually downgraded by coming to America. But she respects her country, and has never asked for anything to be translated. She loves America enough to be Americanized. When Americans go to other countries, can we demand everything in English? The answer is NO! America is just not the same anymore.
Fred Kempf November 03, 2012 at 06:24 PM
This is so utterly rididulous! How much is this costing taxpayers to have these bilingual workers at the polls, and also spanish on our ballots? Everyone must be a U.S. Citizen to vote, - - - period. Also, the DOJ is run by a bunch of outright liars, and felons. I understand why there is an effort to define that this is an English only (speaking and reading) country in our constitution. The Liberal Left and the ACLU want bilingual in our schools, also This is all done so illegals and legal immigrants can vote when they are not U.S. Citizens. The politicians will do anything they can to get votes, both legally and illegally. This is no different than what was done in Illinois, when years ago dead people were registered to vote. When is this idiocy going to stop??
John Cumms November 03, 2012 at 06:35 PM
Classes are free for people to learn English. Get off you lazy asses and assimulate to American society like every other culture that comes here. This is this "Nanny State." Question, does anyone know of any cool countries that I can go to illegally, have children and get taken care of for the rest of my life?
Phil M November 03, 2012 at 07:46 PM
I agree that this situation is not the best and begs the question if there is going to be any voter fraud in the election. President Obama has been losing ground and can’t seem to stop the bleeding. In a last ditch effort he releases a book on his plan. I think everyone should have the tools and ability to vote in any language they feel comfortable with. Remember someone may be able to speak English but may not be able to understand it very well in writing. Why not offer different languages in the electronic polls? Almost like an ATM which language would you like to use. But good for them to exercise their write to vote I just hope that people don’t try to take advantage of them. ________________________________________ Find a Military Friendly College, www.bestmilitaryfriendlycolleges.com
Mariana Zuelsdorf November 04, 2012 at 01:30 AM
Just stay in California, John. All those options,and more, are offered here and you don't have to travel to another country...WIC, Social Services, free medical care, etc. The welcome mat is out.
Anon November 04, 2012 at 03:33 AM
Exactly Paul. Its the bleeding heart liberals that are ruining this country. Reverse discrimination is alive and well! The libs want this state to become northern mexico it will insure them the 55 electoral college votes they can secure forever!
Balance November 04, 2012 at 05:31 AM
Exactamente! Yo soy un de los liberales quien quiere este estado estar mexico norte usandando discrimacion reverse! Quiero lost Cinquenta Cinco botas electoral por Obama.
Mariana Zuelsdorf November 04, 2012 at 07:43 AM
It will never be Northern Mexico, Balance. God help us if the US became Mexico, although I think the US should adopt Mexico's very strict laws concerning illegal trespassers crossing Mexico's borders..
Nopal November 04, 2012 at 03:23 PM
I dont understend why everybody is thinking thad bilingual people are going to cost more, if all of you read the news it says they are going to be part of the people helping to every one they will not be extra help o get pay more just for speak two lenguage. RELAX we will not drawn your Tax dollars. Thanks.
Steve Mehlman November 04, 2012 at 05:25 PM
You are quite right about the language issue. Unfortunately, a lot of Republicans don't want to help more people vote...they try to set up all kinds of barriers to make voting more difficult. For example, they've done everything possible in many states to curtail early voting. And please don't give me the b.s. that early voting has anything to do with voter fraud. The only major fraud discovered so far in 2012 was a Republican political operative trying to destroy Democratic registrations in Florida and other states. Of course, the people who hollered so loud about ACORN in 2008 had nothing to say about this Republican fraud scheme.
Balance November 04, 2012 at 07:53 PM
I know California will never become Northern Mexico. I was being facetious.
Mariana Zuelsdorf November 04, 2012 at 08:13 PM
I'm very glad, Balance, and pls forgive me for assuming you were serious!
Diana November 04, 2012 at 09:51 PM
I like Paul and his tell it like it really is postings!!! :) I couldn't have said it any better, if we are going to accommodate those that can't read or write English then let's accommodate all of them not just the "I am entitled illegal Mexicans".
Diana November 04, 2012 at 09:54 PM
So Charles, then if every Hispanic that is voting has passed the requirement to become a legal citizen, then why is the DOJ requiring this, we all know why, like I said before, what a bunch of crap.
David L. Arnce November 05, 2012 at 05:58 PM
True Maam, think of the $$$$$ saved if we only printed english ballots and give no special favors.....
Anon November 06, 2012 at 10:57 PM
Get off your ass and learn the language then. Geez! We even print stickers that say Yo Vote' for them. Want me to wash and gas up their cars while they wait too?

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