At least two red states—Florida and Missouri—have made clear to the Biden Department of Justice that their federal election monitors are not welcome in their states’ polling places.
The Justice Department announced on Monday “plans to monitor compliance with federal voting rights laws in 64 jurisdictions in 24 states” on Election Day to “protect their rights of voters.” Monitors will include personnel from the Civil Rights Division and from U.S. Attorneys’ Offices. In addition, the division also deploys monitors from the Office of Personnel Management, where authorized by federal court order. Division personnel will also maintain contact with state and local election officials. Brad McVay, General Counsel of Florida’s Department of State, said federal monitors are lacking “specific statutory authorization,” and are not permitted under Florida law.
In a letter to John “Bert” Russ, Deputy Chief & Elections Coordinator of the Voting Section in the Civil Rights Division, McVay said that absent any evidence concerning the need for federal intrusion or federal statute that preempts Florida law, “the presence of federal law enforcement inside polling places would be counter productive and undermine confidence in the election.” Missouri’s Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft is also letting the Civil Rights Division of the Biden Justice Dept. know that its election monitors are not authorized to be at polling sites on Election Day, and are not welcome.
Ashcroft took to Twitter Sunday afternoon after a Cole County election authority received a letter from Charles Thomas, the Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, informing him that DOJ staff would be present at polling sites “reviewing Cole County’s voting program on Election Day.”
“While the U.S. DOJ could clearly learn a lot from Missouri about non-partisanship and how to administer accessible, secure and credible elections, it would be highly inappropriate for federal agents to violate […]
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