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Florida officials said that federal officials are not included in the list of people allowed inside polling places.

Florida officials will not allow federal election monitors inside polling places, citing state law.

The information came from the US Justice Department, which sent election monitors to 64 jurisdictions, including three counties in Florida: Broward, Miami-Dade, and Palm Beach. All the counties picked by the DOJ are run by an elected Democratic official.

Brad McVay, the chief counsel for the Florida Department of State,  sent a letter to the DOJ on Monday, arguing that federal officials are not included in the list of people allowed inside polling places. The official argues this, even though Florida law has an exception allowing law enforcement to enter polling sites.  

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The practice of sending federal election monitors to local jurisdictions dates back to 1965, when the Voting Rights Act was passed.

According to the letter, the Florida Department of State will send its own monitors to the three jurisdictions, to “ensure that there is no interference with the voting process.”

Florida Secretary of State Cord Byrd, who was appointed by  Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, said the request by the DOJ to go inside polling places was a deviation from years past, when the agency sent monitors to Florida.

When the DOJ was under former President Donald Trump, it sent monitors to six Florida counties in 2020, but Byrd said they kept tabs from outside the polling location.

“The difference this time was that the DOJ wanted to, in their initial letter, they wanted to have monitors inside the polling places. They can certainly be outside of the polling place,” Byrd said.

The Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections office spokeswoman Alison Novoa told CNN the county will be following the guidance provided by the Department of State Division of Elections.

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“The DOJ has indicated to us that they will coordinate with the Department of State and will not attempt to enter the locations,” she said.

According to the Washington Post, election officials in battleground states are anticipating delayed results and protracted fights once the polls close Tuesday night.

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