July 09, 2008

CARDIN QUESTIONS DOJ PREPAREDNESS FOR NOVEMBER ELECTION

The Justice Department Must be Active in Promoting and Protecting Voter Participation

Washington , DC - U.S. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, participated today in the questioning of Attorney General Michael Mukasey during oversight hearings for the Department of Justice. Senator Cardin repeated his call for a proactive approach to protecting the integrity of the upcoming national election and the need to eliminate obstacles to voting for eligible voters.

 

"If the primary elections are any indication, we can expect record turnout in November, especially among young people. Students across the country have been mobilized in a way we have not seen for years. The Justice Department has a responsibility to take appropriate steps to ensure these young voters are fully engaged and allowed to fully participate in the electoral process," said Senator Cardin.

 

"I am encouraged that the Justice Department has begun to train monitors and Assistant U.S. Attorneys in spotting - and hopefully preventing - voter suppression and misinformation campaigns. We'll need to wait and see how this works in real-life situations. As part of this process, I would expect a review of activity from previous elections and a focus on districts which historically have had some challenges in this area."

 

During the Q&A session, Attorney General Mukasey agreed with Senator Cardin that information gathered during this election cycle needs to be shared and reviewed publicly "so we can have a better understanding of the problems and we can put in place institutional protections to avoid problems in the future."