Federal officials are monitoring polling places in Alameda County and Napa County during today's election to ensure the elections are in compliance with federal voting rights statutes, including the Voting Rights Act.
The U.S. Department of Justice sent observers from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management to watch and record activities at Napa County and Alameda County polling places in compliance with a 2011 court order.
The court order requires that Alameda County maintain an adequate number of bilingual poll workers who speak Spanish and Chinese languages, according to Alameda County's registrar of voters Tim Dupuis.
The county employs bilingual poll workers in a total of eight languages, Dupuis said. "We have 1,300 bilingual poll workers out there right now," he said. "That number continues to improve."
Department of Justice personnel are also observing polling places in Napa County as part of a routine monitoring operation.
Election Day is running smoothly so far, according to John Tuteur, Napa County's registrar of voters, who has visited more than half of the county's 14 polling places today.
"I actually ran into the monitors," Tuteur said. "They didn't have any comments for me."
Four federal monitors are making sure that Spanish-language materials are available to voters in Napa County,which became a dual-language county in 2011 after passing a threshold of Spanish-speaking residents, Tuteur said.
Attorneys from the Department of Justice will stay in contact with local election officials throughout the day.
"I am confident that the monitoring visit will confirm that Napa County is meeting both the letter and the spirit of the Federal Voting Rights Act," Tuteur said last week in a statement.