Florida Governor Ron DeSantis' office opposed the Justice Department's plan to send election monitors to three counties in Florida. File Photo By Gary I Rothstein/UPI | License Photo
Nov. 8 (UPI) -- The Justice Department announced plans to send monitors to 24 states to ensure voting rights are not violated, but state officials from Florida and Missouri argued the monitors will not be allowed.
The announcement from the Justice Department lists 64 jurisdictions including counties and populous cities across the country will be subject to allowing monitors inside of polling places for the general election. This comes after allegations against some jurisdictions of attempting to suppress the voting rights of minorities.
Listed among the jurisdictions where monitors will be sent are Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties in Florida, prompting the Florida Department of State to issue a letter stating that monitors are "not permitted" inside polling places under Florida law.
The letter, written by Brad McVay, general counsel to Gov. Ron DeSantis, challenged the department's authority to supersede Florida statutes. The Washington Post obtained a copy of the letter.
"Your letters do not detail the need for federal monitors in these counties. None of the counties are currently subject to any election-related federal consent," McVay wrote. "None of the counties have been accused of violating the rights of language or racial minorities or of the elderly or disabled."
The letter continued, positing that the Justice Department did not specify federal statutes which would give it the authorization to carry out its plan and suggesting the presence of the monitors could "undermine confidence in the election."
Florida was not alone in opposing the Justice Department's decision, as Missouri Secretary of StateJay Ashcroft also expressed opposition.
"If the DOJ desires to meet to discuss this matter further, they may meet at my office instead of trying to bully a hard-working county official," the Missouri Secretary of State's office said in a tweet.
Among the monitors will be members of the department's Civil Rights Division and from U.S. Attorneys' Offices.
The Civil Rights Division will be taking calls on Election Day related to possible violations of federal voting rights. Complaints of such violations can be reported to the division by calling 800-253-3931 or visiting its website.