MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - Mobile County is one of two counties in Alabama that have officials from the U. S. Justice Department on hand enforcing federal voting rights laws.
According to the U.S. Justice Department , under the Voting Rights Act, the department is authorized to ask the Office of Personnel Management to send federal observers to areas that have been certified for coverage by a federal court or the attorney general.
Probate court officials said there are four people in Mobile from the department.
As voters went to the polls throughout Mobile County, Probate Court Judge Don Davis said members of the U.S. Department of Justice were quietly monitoring polling place activities.
Mobile Probate Court Judge Don Davis said, "I met with a representative of DOJ yesterday, but it was just an introductory meeting to let us know they're going to be here and, no big deal."
The members of the Civil Rights Division are charged with enforcing federal voting law rights, but when asked why they're here, Judge Davis said, "I don't know. Periodically, representatives of the Department of Justice come and observe elections, and they're here in Mobile today, and I'm glad they're here."
Although turnout was heavy here at the senior center on Hillcrest Road, voters we talked to said the lines moved quickly, even as they and others pondered the amendments on the ballot.
Linda Johnson said, "I knew beforehand what I was going to do, so it didn't take long."
When asked if it took a long time, Frank Dagley said, "Yeah, since I didn't study them before, it took a while. But you should study before you come, and then you'd know how to vote."
Milton Joyner said he took time to vote for the amendments.
He said voting is important and, "It's a right."
There were also students here form Burns Middle School in Mobile, conducting a Civics project, and handing out small copies of the U.S. Constitution.
The students were interviewing voters, taking part in a project on exit polling.
Teacher Tressler Laffiett said, "It's an opportunity for the kids to learn about the election process, to be at a polling site, and what all goes into the voting process, the election process."
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