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Lynch Vows to Use 'Every Tool at Our Disposal to Defend Every Eligible American’s' Voting Access

Attorney General Loretta Lynch said the Justice Department plans on sending Election Day personnel into "at least as many states as in 2012, despite the setback" of the 2013 Supreme Court ruling that found the preclearance section of the Voting Rights Act unconstitutional.

In Shelby County v. Holder, the Alabama county challenged the part of the law that maintained certain jurisdictions with a history of discrimination receive federal approval to make changes to voting practices.

At a media availability Friday in Newark, N.J., Lynch wanted "to discuss another cornerstone of our democracy: the right to vote."

"There is no doubt that the Shelby County decision in 2013 severely curtailed our ability to uphold that right. Indeed, this fall will be our nation’s first presidential election in almost 50 years without the full protections of the Voting Rights Act," Lynch said. "But I am firmly committed to using every tool at our disposal to defend every eligible American’s access to the ballot box."

She noted that the department has won "a number of important suits against restrictive state laws."

"We will be deploying a robust number of trained department personnel into roughly half of the nation’s states this fall – at least as many states as in 2012, despite the setback of Shelby County," Lynch vowed. "This expert team will watch the proceedings carefully to make sure that the elections are conducted fairly and in accordance with federal voting rights laws – and to ensure that we continue to enjoy a strong and vibrant democracy where every citizen has a say in how they will be governed."

"Our nation was founded to guarantee that right, and I want to assure the American people that the Department of Justice will continue to do everything in our power to defend it."