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8 GOP States (And Counting) Ban Biden’s DOJ From ‘Intimidating’ Voters At 2024 Polls

The DOJ ‘couldn’t provide a reason to be [at the polling places], nor any statutory authority for them to be there.’


Florida and Missouri refused requests from the Department of Justice (DOJ) to place federal election monitors inside polling locations during the 2022 elections, arguing doing so would be tantamount to federal voter intimidation. The Federalist inquired with other Republican-led states whether they would take a similar stance should the DOJ make the same requests — but not all appeared willing to stand up to Biden’s weaponized agency.

The DOJ announced in 2022 it would send election monitors to 64 jurisdictions across the nation to monitor alleged voter intimidation and threats. Several Florida counties were included in the DOJ’s list, but Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis refused DOJ election monitors to enter polling sites in South Florida, arguing DOJ’s involvement would be “counterproductive” and “potentially undermine confidence in the election.”

“Florida statutes list the people who ‘may enter any polling room or polling place,'” Chief Counsel for the Florida Department of State Brad McVay wrote in a letter. The Department of State is overseen by DeSantis. “Department of Justice personnel are not included on the list.”

The DOJ “couldn’t provide a reason to be [at the polling places], nor any statutory authority for them to be there,” Florida Secretary of State Cord Byrd stated in a letter, according to Politico.

Missouri took a similar stance in 2022, arguing the DOJ’s presence was akin to bullying local election authorities. State authorities suggested the DOJ should instead contact the secretary of state’s office to discuss any election issues.

Ahead of November, The Federalist inquired with states that have a Republican governor whether they would take a similar stance should the DOJ request to place poll monitors in election sites.

DeSantis Press Secretary Jeremy Redfern confirmed to The Federalist that Florida’s policy has not changed: “Florida statutes on this matter have not changed, and DOJ personnel are not included on the list of ‘who may enter any polling room or polling place.”

Alabama Secretary of State Wes Allen told The Federalist DOJ election monitors are not included in state laws’ “exhaustive list of the persons who are allowed within 30 feet of a polling precinct.”

“As such, they will not be permitted to enter polling locations in Alabama,” Allen told The Federalist. “The United States Constitution delegates to the states the roles and responsibilities surrounding election administration. This office and our local election officials are well equipped to ensure that Alabama elections are fair, secure, and transparent without unconstitutional supervision by the federal government.”

Communications Director Alexa Henning for Arkansas Gov. Sarah Sanders told The Federalist that “Governor Sanders will not permit the Biden DOJ to improperly intimidate or unduly influence Arkansans inside our state’s polling locations.”

Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte’s press secretary, Kaitlin Price, said Montana does not “need the federal government’s” intervention: “Montana has a long history of fair, secure, transparent elections and doesn’t need the federal government’s help in protecting our elections. Working with Secretary of State Christi Jacobsen, the governor passed a number of commonsense reforms to protect the integrity of our elections.”

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem told The Federalist the DOJ would not be permitted to “meddle in our elections.”

“I have always fought for free, fair, and honest elections because that’s what South Dakota voters deserve,” the governor told The Federalist. “You should have faith and trust in the system when you vote, and that’s easier to achieve when the election process is run by people here at home and not some DC-based hack.”

“We will never allow this corrupt DOJ that has been proven to weaponize its power against those they disagree with politically to meddle in our elections,” Noem continued.

The Mississippi Secretary of State’s Office also doubled down on its previous stance of prohibiting DOJ poll watchers within 30 feet of the front door of polling locations.

“The Mississippi Secretary of State’s Office stands by its previous communications to the DOJ that state law prevents any person other than an election official, credentialed poll observer as defined by Miss. Code Ann. Section 23-15-577, or a person casting their ballot from being within 30 feet of a polling place.”

Other states took a less forceful approach. Idaho officials told The Federalist that state law has “requirements and limitations for poll watchers” but the state is”not aware of any request made to any county clerk or similar involvement by the DOJ here in Idaho.”

North Dakota’s secretary of state’s office told The Federalist that state code “allows for election observers in polling locations. Based on the information you provided I believe ‘DOJ Monitors’ would be considered observers as are all individuals who wish to observe election day practices.”

Ben Kindel, press secretary for Ohio’s secretary of state, told The Federalist the state would “review any request on a case-by-case basis.”

Texas Secretary of State spokeswoman Alicia Pierce directed The Federalist to Sec. 61. 001 of state election code, adding: “If you look at the code, it does not permit anyone who would fall under the category of federal observers.”

Vermont’s secretary of state office told The Federalist there are “no special provisions, restrictions, or allowances that apply to the Department of Justice differentiating them from any other observer. The general rule for observers is under 17 V.S.A § 2581: Any person who is not an election official may remain outside a guardrail or within a designated area to observe so long as they do not interfere with the voting process in any way.”

West Virginia’s secretary of state office said “only election officials, voters appearing to vote, local law enforcement responding to an emergency inside a polling place, and members of the public entering a location for other official business, such as paying property taxes” are permitted inside polling locations.

“No person who is not an election official, voter appearing to vote, or local law enforcement responding to an emergency is permitted inside a polling location.”

The communications director for New Hampshire’s secretary of state told The Federalist, “The area outside of the guard rail in a polling place is open to the public, which includes election monitors.”

“We do not have any laws or policies that exclude the public from observing our elections from public areas in the polling place,” the statement continued.

The following states either provided no response or redirected The Federalist to a different office than the governor’s, such as the secretary of state, which also did not respond by publication time: Alaska, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Nebraska, Nevada, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, and Wyoming.

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