The DeSantis administration is pushing back against President Joe Biden’s Department of Justice's apparent effort to send in election “monitors” inside state-run polling locations within several Florida counties.
In a letter to John “Bert” Russ, Deputy Chief & Elections Coordinator for the Department of Justice by Florida Department of State General Counsel Brad McVay, the DeSantis administration warns that under Florida statute, DOJ monitors “are not permitted” inside Florida polling locations.
But 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.”
“Earlier today, the Florida Department of State received copies of your letters to Miami-Dade and Broward Counties in which you seem to indicate that the Department of Justice will send monitors inside polling places in these counties,” reads the letter.
“We also understand you sent a similar letter to Palm Beach County. But 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.” 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.”
The DeSantis administration will in turn dispatch its own election integrity monitors to ensure that the federal government does not interfere in Florida’s election process. The decree from the Florida Department of State comes a day or so after Broward County activist Chris Nelson first posted an email to “field clerks” he received from a source.
The author of the of email in question urges Supervisor of Elections workers to “grant them access to see the process.”
“These are the DOJ agents that will be roaming the County on Election Day. We must grant them access to see the process. Mostly they will be checking to see if we have the ADA machines out, properly set up with adequate space, available, people trained to use them, etc. They will have DOJ credentials.”
The apparent elections overstep by the Biden administration could be perceived as a form of election day intimidation.
Rep. Brian Mast (R-FL-18) tweeted that "the Biden Administration’s last ditch plan to intimidate Florida voters by sending the DOJ to polling locations, including Palm Beach County, is blatantly illegal! Partisan federal interference in our elections must not be tolerated!"
The Biden Administration’s last ditch plan to intimidate Florida voters by sending the DOJ to polling locations, including Palm Beach County, is blatantly illegal! Partisan federal interference in our elections must not be tolerated!
— Brian Mast (@BrianMastFL) November 8, 2022