New York Post

DOJ wields ballot mallet

Warning states on ‘integrity’


The Department of Justice sent a stern warning on Wednesday that it may sue states that return to pre-pandemic voting laws, adding fuel to the fiery national debate over election-integrity measures.

The new Biden administra­tion legal guidance states, “The department’s enforcemen­t policy does not consider a jurisdicti­on’s re-adoption of prior voting laws or procedures to be presumptiv­ely lawful; instead, the department will review a jurisdicti­on’s changes in voting laws or procedures for compliance with all federal laws regarding elections, as the facts and circumstan­ces warrant.”

Throughout the primary and general elections of 2020, states across the country scrambled to adjust their voting laws, often by emergency executive orders, to ensure that voters could safely cast ballots amid lockdown conditions. Now the DOJ is warning that some of those changes may need to become permanent.

A DOJ press release went on to say, “The guidance document addresses efforts by some states to permanentl­y adopt their COVID-19 pandemic voting modificati­ons, and by other states to bar continued use of those practices, or to impose additional restrictio­ns on voting by mail or early voting, In addition, this guidance document discusses federal statutes the department enforces related to voting by mail, absentee voting and voting in person.”

Among states that moved to make permanent some of the voting expansion was New York, where Gov. Cuomo this month signed legislatio­n that maintains some loosened standards on absentee voting.

The backdrop for the guidance is a fierce debate over voting rights and election integrity as several Republican states, notably Georgia and Texas, have pushed legislatio­n to secure their elections — efforts that Democrats, including President Biden, have claimed represent a new “Jim Crow.”

In a House committee hearing titled, “Election Subversion: A Growing Threat To Election Integrity,” Rep. Burgess Owens (R-Utah) on Wednesday fired back at the comparison: “President Biden said of the Georgia law, ‘This is Jim Crow on steroids.’ With all due respect, Mr. President, you know better. It is disgusting and offensive to compare the actual voter suppressio­n and violence of the era that we grew up in with a state law that only asks people to show their ID.

“This is the type of fear-mongering expected in the 1960s, not today.”

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