The Justice Department oversees voting rights in 24 states

WASHINGTON (AP). The Ministry of Justice sends inspectors to 24 countries in an effort to ensure compliance federal voting rights laws in Tuesday’s election.

The move, which regularly takes place on Election Day, comes as civil rights groups and the federal government have warned of the possibility. Intimidation of voters in some polling stations and ballot boxes.

The 2022 election is set against the backdrop of persistent lies told by former President Donald Trump and his Republican allies about lose vote 2020a relentless campaign that will have consequences when the people vote.

On the other hand, Democrats have expressed concern about the possibility of voter suppression.

Among the 64 counties visited by federal inspectors — typically lawyers from the department’s civil rights division and the U.S. attorney’s office — are those across the United States, including Maricopa County, Arizona, where there have been reports of people watching ballot boxes, sometimes armed or wearing belts. are ballistic. The Department of Justice also announced it will send monitors to Cole County, Missouri, where local election officials they said that they closed the monitors.

Advocates will be in constant contact with local election officials and will be on the lookout for signs that voters’ ability to vote has been compromised. There is also a hotline if voters feel they are being discriminated against at the polling place.

The Justice Department said on Monday that the inspectors would be sent to “protect the rights of voters,” as they have done for decades.

Look at the monitors:


Inspectors are lawyers who work for the US government. They are not law enforcement officers or federal agents. These typically include lawyers from the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division and U.S. attorneys’ offices around the country. The government also sometimes brings in employees from other agencies, such as the Office of Personnel Management, who have been authorized by federal court order to act as monitors.


The Justice Department has sent attorneys to monitor polling sites and enforce federal voting laws for more than five decades. The Division’s civil rights attorneys are responsible for filing civil actions related to voting statutes and voting rights protections.

The laws they enforce Includes the Voting Rights Act, along with the National Voter Registration Act and other laws. Prosecutors in the same division also enforce criminal laws that prohibit voter intimidation and efforts to suppress voting based on someone’s race, ethnicity, or religion.

Some of the locations they have been sent to include areas that were a concern in 2020 as well as areas where issues have been raised this year.


The Justice Department has warned of possible Voting Rights Act violations after people, sometimes armed or wearing ballistic belts, manned ballot boxes in Maricopa County. Based on this activity, an appeal was made to the court, and the department filed an application of interest in this matter. Federal officials said that while legal polling can support transparency, “ballot security forces” pose a serious risk of voter intimidation.


Republican election officials in Cole County have pushed back against the Justice Department’s efforts to review the Missouri vote. Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft says Secretary Steve Korsmeyer has refused the Justice Department’s efforts to monitor the votes, and Korsmeyer says he won’t allow them if they show up.

Ashcroft accused the department of “trying to discredit a hard-working county official.”

In a Thursday email released by Ashcroft, the assistant U.S. attorney told Korsmeier that four Justice Department officials plan to visit polling places on Election Day and survey officials in coordination with the Civil Rights Division. ask questions briefly.

“Make sure we understand that you’re running an election and we’re going to try to minimize the time we spend at each site,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles Thomas.

Reiterating his stance on Monday, Korsmeyer told The Associated Press, “The DOJ is not allowed into our polling places,” referring to the state statute that allowed him to determine who, other than poll workers, would be allowed into polling places. , allows . But he said the Justice Department officials who spoke to him “were very respectful and said they would not be entering our polling stations on Election Day.”

“We don’t anticipate any problems,” he told the AP in an email.

The department confirmed that its inspectors would remain outside.


The Justice Department plans to send inspectors to 64 jurisdictions in 24 different states.

They include: the city of Bethel, Dillingham Census Area, Kusilwak Census Area, and Sitka City-Borough in Alaska; Maricopa County, Navajo County, Pima County, Pinal County and Yavapai County in Arizona; Newton County in Arkansas; Los Angeles County and Sonoma County in California; Broward County, Miami-Dade County and Palm Beach County in Florida; Cobb County, Fulton County, Gwinnett County in Georgia; Clinton Township and the Massachusetts counties of Fitchburg, Leominster, Everett, Malden, Methuen, Randolph, and Salem; Prince George’s County in Maryland; Detroit, Flint, Grand Rapids, Pontiac and Southfield in Michigan; Minneapolis, Hennepin, and Ramsey Counties in Minnesota; Cole County in Missouri; Alamance County, Columbus County, Harnett County, Mecklenburg County and Wayne County in North Carolina; Middlesex County in New Jersey Bernalillo County and San Juan County in New Mexico; Clark County and Washoe County in Nevada; the borough of Queens in New York; Cuyahoga County in Ohio; Berks County, St. County, Lehigh County, Luzerne County, Philadelphia County in Pennsylvania; Pawtucket, Rhode Island; Horry County in South Carolina; Dallas County, Harris County and Waller County, Texas; San Juan County, Utah; Prince William County and the cities of Manassas and Manassas Park in Virginia; and Milwaukee and Racine, Wisconsin.

Associated Press writer Summer Ballentin in Jefferson City, Missouri contributed to this report.

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