TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA — After the Department of Justice announced that they will send “election monitors” to Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties, the DeSantis administration has issued a strongly-worded response.
On Monday, Brad McVay, General Counsel with the Florida Department of State, wrote a letter to the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division:
“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,” McVay wrote.
He then stated that federal election monitors are not permitted under Florida law:
“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.”
McVay also indicates that the Department of Justice has been uncooperative with the Florida Department of State’s efforts to resolve the matter on a phone call.
“When asked for specific authorization during our phone call this evening, you did not provide any. 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,” McVay states in the letter.
Deputy Press Secretary Jeremy Redfern with the Executive Office of the Governor provided a statement to The Florida Standard that was sent to the Department of Justice along with the letter:
“Please find attached a letter from the Florida Department of State invoking Florida law to remind the Department of Justice that federal election ‘monitors’ are not permitted inside polling places as it would be counterproductive and could potentially undermine confidence in the election. Additionally, the Florida Department of State is hereby informing the Department of Justice that its own representatives will be dispatched to ensure that no interference with the voting process occurs.”