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Lawlessness at the DOJ: Voting Section Told Not To Enforce Purging the Dead or Ineligible from Voting Rolls

It's not just the New Black Panther case: in November 2009, political appointee Julie Fernandes told a packed room of Voting Section employees to simply ignore this provision of the "Motor Voter" law.

by
J. Christian Adams

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July 8, 2010 - 11:58 am
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I was at the Voting Section of the Justice Department for over five years. This office is responsible for enforcing most federal election laws which do not involve criminal matters. My previous articles at PJ Media have spoken of the DOJ’s lawless abandonment of race-neutral enforcement of voting laws, and other outrageous conduct. I will continue to publish here at PJ Media more instances of failure to enforce the law equally by the Department.

One such instance relates to the Motor Voter law, and will shock Americans who care about integrity in the electoral process.

The “Motor Voter” law was passed in 1993 to promote greater voter registration in the United States. It did this — most Americans now know from visits to the DMV — by requiring states to offer voter registration materials whenever someone had contact with a variety of state offices. These included welfare offices, social service agencies, and motor vehicle departments.

A lesser-known provision also obliged the states to ensure that no ineligible voters were on the rolls — including dead people, felons, and people who had moved. Our current Department of Justice is anxious to encourage the obligations to get everyone registered, but explicitly unwilling to enforce federal law requiring states to remove the dead or ineligible from the rolls.

In November 2009, the entire Voting Section was invited to a meeting with Deputy Assistant Attorney General Julie Fernandes, a political employee serving at the pleasure of the attorney general. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss Motor Voter enforcement decisions.

The room was packed with dozens of Voting Section employees when she made her announcement regarding the provisions related to voter list integrity:

We have no interest in enforcing this provision of the law. It has nothing to do with increasing turnout, and we are just not going to do it.

Jaws dropped around the room.

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