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DOJ Civil Rights Division monitoring...

DOJ Civil Rights Division monitoring Madison, Panola counties this Election Day

By: Frank Corder - November 7, 2023

No reason was given by DOJ as to why they chose Madison and Panola counties.

On Monday, the U.S. Justice Department announced that it plans to monitor compliance with federal voting rights laws in several jurisdictions in four states for the November 7 general election.

Among the locales the DOJ will have monitors are Madison County and Panola County, Mississippi, as the state holds its General Election on Tuesday.

No reason was given by DOJ as to why they chose Madison and Panola counties.

“The Civil Rights Division enforces the federal voting rights laws that protect the rights of all citizens to access the ballot,” the DOJ said in a statement. “The division regularly deploys its staff to monitor for compliance with the federal civil rights laws in elections in communities all across the country. In addition, the division also deploys federal observers from the Office of Personnel Management, where authorized by federal court order.”

The DOJ Civil Rights Division’s Voting Section enforces the civil provisions of federal statutes that protect the right to vote, including the Voting Rights Act, the National Voter Registration Act, the Help America Vote Act, the Civil Rights Acts and the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act.

UPDATE – 11:00am, November 7th:

Secretary of State Michael Watson has asked that the DOJ respect Mississippi’s election sovereignty “barring clear statutory authority” that would allow the federal government to interfere.

“Barring clear statutory authority, DOJ election monitors must remain thirty (30) feet away from any polling place in accordance with Mississippi law,” Watson writes to John Russ, Deputy Chief & Elections Coordinator with the DOJ’s Civil Rights Voting Section. “We trust the DOJ will respect the sovereignty of Mississippi’s election laws and instruct their election monitors to do the same.”

About the Author(s)
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Frank Corder

Frank Corder is a native of Pascagoula. For nearly two decades, he has reported and offered analysis on government, public policy, business and matters of faith. Frank’s interviews, articles, and columns have been shared throughout Mississippi as well as in national publications. He is a frequent guest on radio and television, providing insight and commentary on the inner workings of the Magnolia State. Frank has served his community in both elected and appointed public office, hosted his own local radio and television programs, and managed private businesses all while being an engaged husband and father. Email Frank: