OAKLAND (KCBS) — There were more than just poll workers and voters at Alameda County polls during Tuesday’s primary election. Department of Justice monitors are in the county to watch for possible voter discrimination.

Alameda County Registrar Dave McDonald said the federal monitors want to ensure that polling places offer appropriate language assistance to voters.

“We picked up two new languages this year as a result of the census,” McDonald said referring to Tagalong and Vietnamese. “We’ve translated all of our material ballots, voter pamphlets and website into all five languages.”

KCBS’ Melissa Culross Reports:

However, he adds that it’s not at all unusual for Department of Justice of monitors to come to Alameda County polling places, saying they have been doing it for twenty years.

If the monitors find anything they don’t like, McDonald said the county welcomes the department’s suggestions.

“If they get a complaint from someone, they’ll let us know about it. They’ve called with various issues and we get involved with those immediately and make sure they’re corrected,” McDonald said.

There have been concerns in the past about a shortage of bilingual poll workers in Alameda County. As a result, McDonald said the county actively recruits poll workers who speak multiple languages.

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