‘Not permitted’: Florida rejects DOJ’s move to slip monitors under election tent

The Biden Department of Justice announced plans to send election monitors to 24 states to, ahem… ensure compliance with federal voting rights laws in Tuesday’s midterm elections and the free state of Florida was among the two dozen states, with three counties making the federal list: Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach.

But the federal poll monitors may want to bring their suntan lotion with them because they’re not going to be spending much time inside Florida polling places.

The DeSantis administration informed the DOJ that the monitors are “not permitted” inside polling places under Florida law, and further stated that the Sunshine State will send its own monitors to “ensure there is no interference in the voting process.”

Brad McVay, general counsel to Florida’s Department of State, sent a letter to the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department on Monday saying the monitors will not be granted access.

“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.”

“Even if they could qualify as ‘law enforcement’… 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 added.

Florida Secretary of State Cord Byrd told reporters Tuesday morning that the DOJ request to go inside polling places was a deviation from past practice, according to CNN.

Six monitors were reportedly sent to Florida when President Donald Trump was in office but they kept tabs from outside the polling location, the DeSantis appointee said.

“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.”

He said the federal monitors “can certainly be outside of the polling place.”

“The difference this time was that the DOJ wanted to, in their initial letter, they wanted to have monitors inside the polling places,” Byrd said when asked why no letter was sent in 2020.

With the Biden administration appearing to weaponize any number of federal agencies, at least in the eyes of many on the right, there is as much trust for the feds today as there is for the corporate media, which is to say there isn’t much.

At the same time, Gov. Ron DeSantis is not one to trifle with. One might think the Biden administration would know this, but either way, the push back was well-received on social media.

Here’s a quick sampling of responses to the story from Twitter:

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