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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minneapolis is among 44 jurisdictions in 18 states across the country where the Department of Justice will be monitoring voting rights on Election Day.
The Justice Department announced on Monday that personnel from its Civil Rights Division will be monitoring compliance with federal voting rights laws, saying the department has historically monitored jurisdictions in the field and “is again doing so this year”.
“As in past years, monitors will focus on compliance with the Voting Rights Act, and the other federal voting rights laws enforced by the division,” the department said in a release. “Monitors will include civil rights personnel from the Civil Rights Division and civil rights and civil personnel from U.S. Attorney’s Offices. Civil Rights Division personnel will also maintain contact with state and local election officials.”
When asked for comment, Minnesota’s Secretary of State Steve Simon said the state law is very specific and Justice Department personnel won’t be allowed inside polling places.
Justice Department sending voting “monitors” to 44 jurisdictions in 18 states including the city of Minneapolis – @MNSteveSimon says Mn law is very specific and they won’t be allowed in to polling places – @wcco will update this Breaking Story pic.twitter.com/OjRvYVX8Pw
— esme murphy (@esmemurphy) November 2, 2020
Minneapolis is the only Minnesota city among the 44 jurisdictions, which include seven cities in Michigan, six Florida cities, five cities in Massachusetts and three cities in Pennsylvania. Click here for the full list.
A spokesperson with the City of Minneapolis gave WCCO the following statement:
The City is aware that the Department of Justice intends to position election monitors at some of its polling places, and appreciates that the 14 federal monitors will be located outside of the 100 foot buffer zone, as allowed under Minnesota election law. It is the City’s understanding that those monitors will contact the City with any concerns about anything they might observe.