DeSantis officials said the Justice Department.Unable to send monitors to 3 counties in Florida


The DeSantis administration is trying to prevent Justice Department election monitors from entering polling places in South Florida, saying in a letter that federal involvement would be “counterproductive” and violate state law.

On Monday, the Justice Department announced it would send federal monitors to 64 jurisdictions across the country to monitor the conduct of elections. Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties will all receive federal ombudsmen from the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.

But Brad McVay, the Florida State Department’s chief legal counsel, said in a letter Monday night that under Florida law, those monitors are not allowed to enter polling places.

McVeigh said the Florida Office of the Secretary of State — the Republican governor. Ron DeSantis oversees — instead sending his own monitors to the three counties, which are among the most Democratic-leaning counties in Florida.

“Florida’s statute lists who ‘may enter any polling room or polling place,'” McVeigh wrote. “Department of Justice personnel are not on the list.”

DOJ sends Election Day ombudsmen to 64 jurisdictions

Although there is an exception to Florida law that allows law enforcement access to polling places, McVeigh said Justice Department monitors are not eligible.

“Without some evidence that federal intervention is necessary, or that certain federal regulations take precedence over Florida law, the establishment of federal law enforcement in polling places would be counterproductive and could undermine confidence in the election,” McVeigh wrote.

“None of these counties are currently subject to any election-related federal consent statutes,” McVeigh added. “None of the counties have been charged with violating the rights of linguistic or racial minorities or the elderly or disabled.”

The Justice Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment. But the Justice Department said in a press release announcing the monitoring locations that it has been observing local election processes nationwide since 1965.

While there is little evidence of fraud in the 2020 election and as threats to politicians, their families and election workers have soared across the country, Republicans have been waging a campaign against alleged fraud over the past two years. Voter fraud campaign.

After voting closed Tuesday night, election officials in battleground states expected a delay in the results and a protracted fight.

Separately, Missouri officials on Friday denied the Justice Department’s request to conduct routine inspections at polling places on Election Day under the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Voting Rights Act. Secretary of State John Ashcroft (right) reiterated that position at a meeting on Monday.

He told The Washington Post that the presence of the Justice Department amounted to “bullying local election authorities” and could “intimidate and suppress voting.”

Ashcroft and Cole County Clerk Steve Cosmeier (R) told federal officials they would not be allowed to observe polling places on Tuesday.

“This isn’t the Voting Rights Act. It’s the Americans with Disabilities Act. What’s next? They’re going to want to go to the election because they want to check if the insulation in the building was bought from China in the 1970s? Give me a break ,” Ashcroft said in a phone interview.

He compared Justice Department officials from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Missouri to “hijacked thugs” and individuals seen patrolling ballot boxes with guns in Arizona.

“I think we’ve brought lawsuits across the country against individuals around polling places,” Ashcroft said. “They were told they had to stay away because they could intimidate voters.” Justice Department officials last observed the Missouri election at a polling place in St. Louis in 2016. louis.

FBI agents serving as election crime coordinators will also be on duty at the bureau’s 56 field offices to receive vote-related complaints from the public, according to the Justice Department. Employees of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division will also operate a hotline throughout the day on Election Day to answer calls from people found to be in violation of federal voting rights laws.

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