The Department of Justice is threatening states implementing voter integrity measures and repealing extraordinary voting rules -- like universal mail in voting and ballot harvesting --- adopted during the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic.
“The right of all eligible citizens to vote is the central pillar of our democracy, and the Justice Department will use all of the authorities at its disposal to zealously guard that right,” Attorney General Merrick Garland released in a statement. “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.”
DOJ has released a lengthy document on the subject and is warning states a return to pre-pandemic voting laws will be heavily scrutinized.
"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," the document states.
DOJ is especially emphasizing the "need" for mass mail-in voting.
"Voting by mail was the most common means by which Americans cast their votes in 2020. Voting by mail can be an effective way of ensuring that many citizens have a practical ability to participate in the election process, given the various logistical difficulties that may preclude individuals from appearing at a polling place on Election Day. Currently, all States provide at least some voters with opportunities to vote by mail. And voting by mail has grown steadily over time," the document continues.
"Most jurisdictions allow voters who have received their ballots by mail (or who picked up absentee ballots in person) to avoid the uncertainty of having to return their ballots by mail. They allow voters to return completed ballots to an election office, an early in-person voting location, a secure ballot drop box, or a polling place on Election Day (where the vote-by-mail voter is not required to stand in line to receive a ballot)," it states. "These alternatives are particularly critical for voters who receive ballots late, have limited time to bring a ballot to a postal facility, or lack access to regular mail."
Former Attorney General Bill Barr warned last year that mass mail-in voting is rife with fraud potential.
"A bipartisan commission chaired by Jimmy Carter and James Baker said back in 2009 that mail-in voting is fraught with the risk of fraud and coercion.— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) September 2, 2020
The only time the narrative changed is after this administration came in."
– AG Bill Barr pic.twitter.com/qWdX7uUf9V