‘Federal Intrusion’: DeSantis Administration Attempting to Block US DOJ From Election Monitoring in Florida Counties – Rights History
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‘Federal Intrusion’: DeSantis Administration Attempting to Block US DOJ From Election Monitoring in Florida Counties

A top official in the DeSantis administration is attempting to block the U.S. Dept. of Justice from monitoring elections in three Florida counties, calling it “federal intrusion.” Governor Ron DeSantis, a Republican who won election with a slim 0.4% of the vote in 2018, is running for re-election against Democrat and former Governor Charlie Crist.

On Florida Dept. of State letterhead, Brad McVay, the department’s general counsel, warned the U.S. Dept. of Justice’s Civil Rights Division they would not be permitted inside polling places, The Washington Post reports.

“McVay said the Florida Secretary of State’s office — which Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis oversees — would instead send its own monitors to those three counties, which are among the most Democratic-leaning counties in Florida,” the Post adds.

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“On Monday, the Justice Department announced that it would send federal monitors to 64 jurisdictions nationwide to monitor how elections are being conducted. Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties were all slated to receive federal monitors from the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.”

In his letter to DOJ McVay claims that “the presence of federal law enforcement inside polling places would be counterproductive and could potentially undermine confidence in the election.”

“Department of Justice monitors are not permitted inside a polling place under Florida law,” McVay adds. Pointing to a Florida statute that “lists the people who ‘may enter any polling room or polling place,’” he says, “Department of Justice personnel are not included on the list.”

“Even if they could qualify as ‘law enforcement’ under section 102.031 (3)(a)6. of the Florida Statutes, absent some evidence concerning the need for federal intrusion, or some federal statute that preempts Florida law, the presence of federal law enforcement inside polling places would be counterproductive and could potentially undermine confidence in the election.”

The Post reports that “the Justice Department said in a news release announcing the monitoring locations that it has observed local election procedures nationwide since 1965.”

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But David Levine, an Elections Integrity Fellow at the Alliance for Securing Democracy, writes: “Since the Voting Right Act of 1965, the Civil Rights of the DOJ has routinely monitored voting in jurisdictions throughout the country to ensure compliance with federal election laws.”

“For those opposing these efforts, the onus is on them to say why,” say Levine, who has a lengthy elections résumé, including being a county elections director.

“This a practice that has spanned both D and R presidential administrations,” Levine adds.

“Based on the threat environment, recent events, and reasons DOJ has historically monitored elections,” he says, calling the list of the 64 counties DOJ says it will monitor, “quite reasonable.”

The post ‘Federal Intrusion’: DeSantis Administration Attempting to Block US DOJ From Election Monitoring in Florida Counties appeared first on The New Civil Rights Movement.

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