A top Florida official told the Department of Justice that federal election monitors would not be allowed inside polling places on Election Day.
The Justice Department said it planned to send poll monitors to 76 jurisdictions in 24 states to ensure that voters’ rights are protected. In Florida, election monitors were expected to be sent to polling locations in Broward, Miami-Dade, and Palm Beach counties.
Brad McVay, general counsel to Florida’s Department of State, sent a letter to the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department, explaining that the election monitors were “not permitted” to enter any polling locations in the state.
“Section 102.031(3)(a) of the Florida Statutes lists the people who ‘may enter any polling room or polling place,'” McVay wrote. “Department of Justice personnel are not included on the list.”
Florida Secretary of State Cord Byrd told CNN that the monitors were stationed outside of polling locations in previous elections. This year, Byrd said that the Justice Department asked for permission to have the monitors enter the polling sites.
“This is not to be confrontational in any way,” Byrd said. “They sent a letter to the counties asking for permission to be in the polling places. We told them that under state law, that is not permitted, and we asked them to respect state law and that they can go there and do their job, but they have to do that job outside of the polling place.”