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DOJ is probing attacks on voting rights, says U.S. attorney general By Reuters


© Reuters. FILEPHOTO: U.S. attorney general Merrick Grland participates in a news conference hosted by the Department of Justice, Washington, D.C., U.S., 26 June 2021. REUTERS/Ken Cedeno/File Photos/File Photograph/File Image

By Sarah N. Lynch

WASHINGTON (Reuters), – U.S. attorney general Merrick Garland announced Monday that the Justice Department “seriously, urgently investigated” whether states were changing redistricting voting rules or other voting practices to make sure they do not violate federal voting rights.

Garland spoke at the New Yorker Festival, saying that they are urgently looking into other procedures and practices and especially scrutinizing all redistricting done in the wake of the Decennial Census.

“We worry about hacking attacks on the voting system, and internet security attacks. He said that he was concerned about the attacks on secretaries and election administrators, as well as poll workers.

Garland’s comments come just a few months after the Justice Department sued Georgia over its new election law, alleging it infringes on the rights of Black voters by tightening absentee ballot identification requirements, restricting ballot drop-box use, and even banning the distribution of water or food to people waiting on long lines at polling places.

In July, the Justice Department also issued legal guidance warning states to tread carefully, citing an “unusual second round of examinations” into 2020 election results cropping up in various states even though none of the prior state recounts had “produced evidence of either wrongdoing or mistakes.”

Garland admitted that the Justice Department has lost its legal authority to deal with voting rights. This was partly due to the Supreme Court’s 2013 case which dissolved a section of the Voting Right Act. He urged Congress for new legislation.

“Are our tools weakened? Garland stated, “Yes they are.” But our passion has not diminished.”

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