“This document sets a marker that says the Justice Department is concerned about this and we will follow it closely,” a department official said Wednesday.
The DOJ’s audit note addressed two main concerns: that election records be maintained and properly maintained in accordance with civil rights legislation, and that audit procedures have no intention or effect of intimidating voters.
The guidance document refers to the plan (for now, abandoned) in the Arizona audit to contact voters in person or by phone and gather information about how they voted.
“This type of activity raises concerns about possible voter intimidation,” the Justice Department guide said, promising that the department will “act” if post-election audits are conducted in a manner that has the “purpose.” nor the effect of deterring qualified citizens from participating in the electoral process. ”
The Justice Department has already sent a letter to Arizona lawmakers warning them of possible violations of federal law in audit procedures.
“The reason we are issuing these guidelines is to communicate to jurisdictions, in general, that we are concerned that if they conduct these audits (so-called past election audits) they must comply with federal law,” the official said. of the DOJ.
The official declined to comment on any investigations that could be carried out in post-election audits.
We have our eyes on a return to preconceived voting rules
A second guidance note covers federal voting laws, as they affect the way ballot boxes are voted on. It was noted that the pandemic changed the way people vote, with voters heading to vote by mail and voting in the first person. The guidance note emphasizes that the Department of Justice will not automatically assume that any reversal of previous voting procedures is lawful.
“What we are only saying in the jurisdictions is … you should not assume that if you abandon practices that have facilitated people’s voting, that abandonment will not be subject to control by the Department of Justice,” the official said. dit.
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