DeSantis Admin Official Blocks DOJ From ‘Observing’ Florida Elections

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Sarah Wilder Social Issues Reporter
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The Florida Department of State sent a letter Monday to the U.S. Department of Justice, notifying the DOJ that monitors from the agency would not be allowed inside polling places on Election Day.

The dust-up between the Florida government and the DOJ comes a day after the Justice Department announced it would dispatch monitors from its Civil Rights Division to observe 64 jurisdictions in 24 states on Election Day.

“Department of Justice monitors are not permitted under Florida law. Section 102.031(3)(a) of the Florida Statutes lists the people who ‘may enter any polling room or polling place'” and “Department of Justice personnel are not included on that list,” General Counsel for the Florida Department of State Brad McVay wrote. He also claimed that “the presence of federal law enforcement inside polling places would be counterproductive and could potentially undermine confidence in the election.”

The letter goes on to say that the Florida Department of State will use its authority to send its own personnel to monitor polling sites to “ensure that there is no interference with the voting process.” (RELATED: UVA’s Sabato Crystal Ball Reclassifies Florida, Georgia Gubernatorial Races One Week From Midterms)

The letter also notes that Miami-Dade and Broward Counties, where the DOJ planned to send monitors, have not been accused of “violating the rights of language or racial minorities or of the elderly or disabled.”

Florida Secretary of State Cord Byrd clarified the position in a press conference Monday morning.

“We expect that [federal observers] respect Florida law. And they can certainly be outside of the polling place, that’s been the practice throughout many election cycles in Florida,” Byrd said. “We want to make clear those are places for election workers and for voters, not for anyone else.”

The Department of Justice did not respond to the Daily Caller’s request for comment.