Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration sent a letter to President Joe Biden’s Justice Department on Monday warning that DOJ election monitors “are not permitted inside” Florida polling locations. The warning comes after Biden’s DOJ announced that members of its Civil Rights Division will be actively monitoring polling locations in 24 different states on election day to ensure compliance with federal voting rights laws.
The Biden administration told Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach Counties to expect federal election monitors at polling places in each county on election day, according to a letter from Florida State Department General Counsel Brad McVay to the DOJ’s John Russ.
McVay subsequently contacted the DOJ to warn them that Florida law bars federal election monitors from operating inside Florida polling places.
“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 ate 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 in the election,” McVay’s letter stated.
“Your letters simply provide a non-exhaustive list of federal elections statutes as the basis for this action without pointing to any specific statutory authorization. When asked for specific authorization during our phone call this evening, you did not provide any,” the letter continued. “Accordingly, the Florida Department of State invokes its authority under section 101.58(2) of the Florida Statutes to send its own monitors to the three targeted jurisdictions. These monitors will ensure that there is no interference with the voting process.”