November 29, 2022

SUSPICIOUS: DeSantis BLOCKS federal DOJ poll watchers in Florida

SUSPICIOUS: DeSantis BLOCKS federal DOJ poll watchers in Florida

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As if to reinforce the adage that “every accusation is a confession,” Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is telling election overseers at the Federal level— Justice Department poll watchers — that they’re not allowed to observe ballot-casting in three counties in his state which just happen to be where the votes tend to skew most Democratic.

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Every year, the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division monitors elections across the country to assure compliance with federal voting laws. On Monday, the DOJ publicly released a list of 64 jurisdictions across 24 states where monitors would be deployed to ensure voters’ rights are protected.

Three of the jurisdictions listed are in Florida, and Governor DeSantis does not approve. Instead, his Department of State’s Chief Counsel, Brad McVay, issued a response, declaring that Florida state law does not require giving access to DOJ officials — and that the law enforcement exception in the law would not apply.

Instead, in Broward County, Miami-Dade County, and Palm Beach County, the DOJ’s monitors will be required to stay outside the polling sites as they attempt to carry out their duties. DeSantis’ Secretary of State’s office will appoint its own monitors to observe within polling locations in these three blue counties.

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From The Washington Post:

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“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,” McVay wrote.

This follows only a few short months after DeSantis himself pushed overblown claims of election fraud, boasting about the arrests of several individuals he said had cast votes illegally in the 2020 election. It didn’t take long for the first of these cases to be thrown out, or for it to be revealed that in at least some of the cases, the voters were told by state officials that they could legally cast a ballot.

Despite his own promotion of a series of incidents showing that the very “voter fraud” he has railed against took place through error committed by his state officials, DeSantis still seems to prefer keeping Federal poll watchers out and preventing them from observing for similar errors.

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The full list of jurisdictions the DOJ plans to observe this year is here.

Steph Bazzle covers politics and theocracy, always aiming for a world free from extremism and authoritarianism. Follow Steph on Twitter @imjustasteph.

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