MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - The United States Department of Justice announced Monday it plans to send personnel to 44 jurisdictions nationwide, including Minneapolis, to monitor compliance with federal voting rights laws.
The Justice Department said the Civil Rights Division has historically monitored in jurisdictions in the field on election day to protect voters’ rights and plans to do so again this year, according to a news release.
On a conference call with reporters Monday, Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon said the DOJ “gave us no advance notice at all” of its plans and that he is not sure what their plans are.
Simon said federal observers do not get automatic access to polling places—it would be up to Minneapolis whether to give them permission.
A DOJ Spokesperson provided FOX 9 the following statement:
"Lawyers in Civil Rights division reached out to elections officials for every jurisdiction in advance, including Minnesota. The Civil Rights Division is continuing its mission in monitoring in the field for the November federal election, just as it has in years past. The monitors are distributed across the country, as we have in prior federal election years. Every federal election year, the Department makes a new assessment of where the Department should be, and send out staff based on that assessment for that year."