(FiveNation.com)- In an effort to counter states enacting laws to protect election integrity, Attorney General Merrick Garland announced this week that, over the next thirty days, the Justice Department will double the number of people working on “voting rights issues.”
This army of staffers will provide new guidance on early voting, mail-in balloting, and, of course, post-election audits. Garland claims these efforts are needed to “safeguard” the American people’s “basic right” to choose their government.
In announcing the move, Garland criticized the current audits of the 2020 election like the one taking place in Maricopa County, Arizona. Claiming the audits are based on accusations already rejected by the courts, Garland said that the DOJ will review any laws that he deems undermine voting rights.
Accusing states of attempting to “curb voter access,” Garland said the DOJ “will not hesitate to act” if it sees “violations.”
Since the 2020 election, fourteen states have passed laws aimed at protecting the integrity of elections.
According to Garland “expanding the ability of all eligible citizens to vote is the central pillar.” To that end, Garland believes that “all eligible voters” should be able to cast a vote and all lawful votes be counted.
But none of the state laws are geared to preventing eligible voters from casting legal votes. Nor do the laws prevent lawful votes from being counted.
Instead, the state laws are geared to making it more difficult to defraud free and fair elections by shortening early voting deadlines, adding signature verification for mail-in voting and preventing an over-reliance on unsecured ballot drop boxes. Nobody is being barred from voting.
Congress had attempted to make permanent and national the changes in voting some states enacted in response to the COVID pandemic. However, their “voting rights” bills appear dead on arrival in the Senate after West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin came out against them.
Garland had previously said that these two overreaching bills were necessary in helping the DOJ “secure voting rights.” And given the moves he is making, it almost appears as if Garland hopes to “enact” the now-dead “voting rights” bills within the Department of Justice without the benefit of the laws being passed by Congress.