Justice Department to send out fewer election observers
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.