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April 13, 2023
The Department of Justice is considering legally pursuing states who roll back emergency voting policies.
Prior to the 2020 elections, states implemented early voting and mail-in ballots to aid Americans who felt unsafe voting in-person on Election Day. “The 2020 election produced record turnout, with over 160 million citizens casting ballots, a result that was all the more impressive given the difficulties the pandemic posed to both voters and election administrators,” suggests the DOJ’s guidance.
Since those controversial elections, states have rescinded the emergency policies and many have proposed new voting legislation. Other states have kept the policies in place and continue to implement them, for instance, California will be sending mail-in ballots to all residents for its upcoming recall election.
The DOJ’s guidance continues, “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.”
In a statement defending the DOJ’s warning, Attorney General Merrick Garland said, “The guidances issued today describe certain federal laws that help ensure free, fair, and secure elections. Where violations of such laws occur, the Justice Department will not hesitate to act.” The DOJ’s guidance follows Texas Democrat lawmakers’ demonstration against an election bill.
The lawmakers involved have vowed to remain out of the state until the special legislative session is over on August 6. Lawmakers will not be able to pass legislation without those members present, as they do not meet the quorum. Now, the Democrats may leave DC with comfort, knowing the wrath of the Attorney General is right behind them.
ARTICLE: ANTOINETTE AHO
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: NBC NEWS