With Election Day now just hours away, Missouri's Secretary of State is making public the emails sent to one county's election officials by Biden Department of Justice officials regarding a "review" to be conducted as Missouri residents cast their ballots on Tuesday.
In a thread Sunday evening, Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft shared screenshots of the email sent on November 3 by the DOJ to county election officials announcing that federal officials "will be reviewing Cole County's voting program on site on Election Day" in the form of four DOJ staffers who would be visiting "each polling place" in the central Missouri county that includes Jefferson City.
The email goes on to explain that DOJ officials would "have a few questions" for each polling place's election officials before adding "[r]est assured that we understand that you will be administering the election and we will try to minimize the time we spend at each site."
This email was sent by the DOJ to one of our election authorities. pic.twitter.com/eQ0eN3rBKd— Missouri SOS Office (@MissouriSOS) November 6, 2022
Secretary of State Ashcroft quipped that "the U.S. DOJ could clearly learn a lot from Missouri about non-partisanship and how to administer accessible, secure and credible elections" but said it would be "highly inappropriate for federal agents to violate the law by intimidating Missouri voters at the polls on Election Day."
What's more, as Ashcroft explained, state law gives county officials the power to decide who — apart from voters and poll workers — "may be at polling locations" on Election Day. As such, Ashcroft noted, Cole County Clerk Steve Korsmeyer "has rightfully declined to allow this over-reach," a decision backed up by Ashcroft's office.
Under Missouri law, the local election authority is empowered to decide who, other than voters and poll workers, may be at polling locations. Cole County Clerk Steve Korsmeyer has rightfully declined to allow this over-reach and the secretary of state’s office fully supports him.— Missouri SOS Office (@MissouriSOS) November 6, 2022
As our friend Susie Moore noted in a story at RedState on the development in Missouri, the DOJ's intended visit to Cole County "may be to ensure ADA compliance in terms of accessibility," given the email's mention of the DOJ's Disability Rights Section within its Civil Rights Division.
But, as Moore also noted, "the announcement of the intended polling place visits to the Clerk without attempting to coordinate first or communicating with the chief election authority of the state is disconcerting. What’s more, if the DOJ’s concern is accessibility, why would this review be conducted on Election Day, rather than in the days prior to it?" she rightly asked in her report.
"Ashcroft invited the DOJ to meet at his office and, per his interview on NewsTalkSTL, that meeting is now set for later Monday morning," RedState added.
If the DOJ desires to meet to discuss this matter further, they may meet at my office instead of trying to bully a hard working county official.— Missouri SOS Office (@MissouriSOS) November 6, 2022