Florida officials are telling the Biden administration’s Department of Justice that its plan to send election monitors to the Sunshine State is unwelcome, unnecessary and not even legal.
The Justice Department announced Monday that it would monitor 64 jurisdictions in 24 states to look for civil rights violations. In Florida, the department said it would target Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties.
But according to a letter from the Florida Department of State, that will not be allowed.
“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. We also understand you sent a similar letter to Palm Beach County,” said the letter Monday, a copy of which was obtained by Florida’s Voice.
The letter said the Justice Department had crossed a legal line.
“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,” the letter said.
It was signed by Brad McVay, the general counsel for the Florida Department of State, and addressed to John “Bert” Russ, deputy chief and elections coordinator in the voting section of the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division.
The letter said the federal presence, even if a legal pretext could be found to support it, would erode faith in the integrity of the election.
“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,” the letter said.
It said the Biden administration has not established any reason for federal monitors to swoop down upon Florida.
“Indeed, 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 decrees. None of the counties have been accused of violating the rights of language or racial minorities or of the elderly or disabled,” the letter said.
“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,” the letter said.
Democrat Corinna Robinson, who is challenging GOP Rep. Brian Mast in Florida’s 21st Congressional District, had told WFTL-AM in Palm Beach that she was pleased the FBI would be involved in Palm Beach County “so that the elections don’t get hacked.”