Jus­tice Depart­ment to send out fewer elec­tion ob­servers

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - NATION+WORLD -

Jus­tice Depart­ment of­fi­cials warn that they will be dis­patch­ing fewer trained elec­tion ob­servers in the wake of a Supreme Court opin­ion that gut­ted a key pro­vi­sion of the Vot­ing Rights Act. The re­duc­tion is likely to di­min­ish the depart­ment’s abil­ity to de­tect voter in­tim­i­da­tion and other po­ten­tial prob­lems at the polls.

It comes as more than a dozen states have adopted new vot­ing and reg­is­tra­tion rules, and as Repub­li­can can­di­date Don­ald Trump warns with­out ev­i­dence that the Nov. 8 elec­tion will be rigged, ex­hort­ing fol­low­ers to be vigilant against un­spec­i­fied fraud.

Jus­tice Depart­ment of­fi­cials said they still will dis­patch hun­dreds of staffers to the polls and ex­pect to have them in at least as many states as dur­ing the 2012 elec­tion, when they sent more than 780 to 23 states.

Vanita Gupta, head of the Jus­tice Depart­ment’s Civil Rights Di­vi­sion. said vot­ers are un­likely to de­tect any dif­fer­ence in the fed­eral pres­ence this year from the 2012 elec­tion.

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