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Feds Threaten Oversight in at Least One Missouri County on Election Day

The Department of Justice advised a Missouri election authority that it would be “reviewing Cole County’s voting system on Election Day” just ahead of Tuesday’s midterms.

Jay Ashcroft, Missouri Secretary of State, tweeted about the DOJ email on Sunday afternoon.

This email was sent by the DOJ to one of our election authorities. pic.twitter.com/eQ0eN3rBKd

— Missouri SOS Office (@MissouriSOS) November 6, 2022

The email, dated November 3, 2022, was sent by Assistant US Attorney for Missouri Charles Thomas to Cole County Clerk Steve Korsmeyer. He informed Korsmeyer, that four DOJ staff working in two teams would visit each polling station on Election Day and “have some questions” for each head election official.

Secretary Ashcroft also expressed concern about the apparent overreach in subsequent tweets.

While the U.S. DOJ could clearly learn a lot from Missouri about non-partisanship and how to administer accessible, secure and credible elections, it would be highly inappropriate for federal agents to violate the law by intimidating Missouri voters at the polls on Election Day.

— Missouri SOS Office (@MissouriSOS) November 6, 2022

This e-mail refers to the Disability Rights Section, Civil Rights Division of DOJ. The purpose of this oversight could be to ensure accessibility compliance with the ADA.

However, it is troubling that the Clerk announced the planned polling place visits without trying to coordinate or communicate with the chief electoral authority of the state. Furthermore, the DOJ’s concern about accessibility is why this review would be done on Election Day rather than in the days before it.

Secretary Ashcroft points out that the County Clerk has the power to determine who is present at the polling places. In this instance, Korsmeyer declined the invited visits.

The email also refers to the prior correspondence between Korsmeyer and the DOJ as well as information provided by him. It is possible that Korsmeyer would not object to the visits if the announcement by the DOJ was made in response to an inquiry by Korsmeyer (as some have suggested on Twitter).

Under Missouri law, the local election authority is empowered to decide who, other than voters and poll workers, may be at polling locations. Cole County Clerk Steve Korsmeyer has rightfully declined to allow this over-reach and the secretary of state’s office fully supports him.

— Missouri SOS Office (@MissouriSOS) November 6, 2022

Ashcroft invited the DOJ for a meeting at his office. According to his interview on NewsTalkSTL, this meeting has been set for Monday morning. After the meeting, we’ll update you with any updates.

The post Feds Threaten Oversight in at Least One Missouri County on Election Day appeared first on Conservative Research Group.

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