UPDATED 1:00 PM PT – Friday, November 6, 2020
The Justice Department reminded prosecutors armed federal officers are legally allowed at ballot-counting locations to monitor potential irregularities.
In an email Wednesday, a DOJ official said a current statute does not allow armed officers at polling stations across the country on Election Day.
NYT: DOJ told prosecutors today that the law allows them to send armed federal officers to ballot-counting locations to investigate potential voter fraud…”The email created the specter of the federal government intimidating local election officials” https://t.co/nU8l8gpP7X
— Natasha Bertrand (@NatashaBertrand) November 5, 2020
The Justice Department interpreted this to mean they could be deployed to monitor ballot locations any time after Election Day. However, critics believe the presence of armed poll watchers would intimidate poll workers and disrupt the vote-counting process.
This came as several key battleground states continue to count votes.