Lynn Landes 
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----- Original Message -----
From: Monroe, Nelldean M.
To: Lynn Landes (
Sent: Thursday, November 21, 2002 4:06 PM
Subject: Telephone Conversation

To reiterate our telephone conversation:


The determination of whether to use Federal observers during an election is made by the Department of Justice.  Under the provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the Office of Personnel Management has the responsibility to provide the Federal observers to cover elections.  Federal observers are placed at polling sites, as determined by DOJ, to observe the full or a portion of the election process and prepare a report to DOJ on their observations.  They may observe when voters receive assistance in voting.


You also asked about vote counting.  The only observance of the tallying of the votes is when DOJ specifically requests observers to do so.  This rarely occurs, but when it does, it is most often during the day following the election when a County conducts a canvass of challenged or rejected ballots.  In this case, Federal observers may observe the County representatives as they make determinations on whether to accept a challenged or rejected ballot.  Federal observers may also observe the counting of ballots (or vote tallying) when paper ballots are used.


Federal observers are regular OPM employees who volunteer to participate and/or intermittent employees hired under the provisions of the Voting Rights Act.  Many of the intermittent observers are hired for their language skills.  During the General Election, November 5, 2002 , we had approximately 325 observers in nine states.


Nelldean Monroe

Voting Rights Program Administrator

US Office of Personnel Management



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