In this Jan. 17, 2012 file photo, supporters of recalling Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker celebrate after canvassers gathered about 1 million signatures in Madison, Wis. More than a year after the standoff over union rights that rocked Wisconsin and the nation for weeks, the Republican Governor will face Milwaukee's Democratic Mayor Tom Barrett in Tuesday's recall election. (AP Photo/Andy Manis)AP2012
Wisconsin is one of four states whose elections the U.S. Justice Department is monitoring this week to ensure against discrimination.
The federal officials will be monitoring the elections to make sure they comply with the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
The Voting Rights Act prohibits discrimination in the election process on the basis of race, color or membership in a minority language group. In addition, the act requires certain covered jurisdictions to provide language assistance during the election process.
In Wisconsin, the federal agency is sending observers to the city of Milwaukee, which is required to provide assistance in Spanish.
The officials will monitor polling places during Tuesday's recall elections, and Justice Department attorneys will maintain contact with local election officials.
Wisconsin's attorney general also plans to send state investigators and lawyers to the polls to discourage fraud. Those officials will help ensure that voters comply with state election laws.
The federal Justice Department is providing similar monitoring in California, New Mexico and South Dakota, where elections are also being held Tuesday.
The Justice Department routinely sends out hundreds of observers each year to monitor elections across the country, according to the agency’s website.
It instructs the public to file complaints about discriminatory voting practices, including acts of harassment or intimidation, with the Voting Section of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.
In Wisconsin, Gov. Scott Walker becomes the third governor in U.S. history to face a recall vote.
The effort to remove him from office began last year, when the Republican governor released a plan that called on public workers to give up nearly all of their collective bargaining rights in an effort to control the state budget.
Protests as large as 100,000 swelled at the state Capitol, but despite the outcry, the bill was signed into law.
Since then, Walker has remained a rising national star while fighting the recall campaign at home. If he wins Tuesday's race, he will retain his seat until 2014. If he loses, he will be required to quickly leave office.
This story contains reporting from The Associated Press.