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Federales coming to Florida poll watch

The U.S. Justice Department announced it will send Election Day poll watchers to 59 different places in 23 states, including Hillsborough, Duval and Seminole counties.

Duval's supervisor of elections, Jerry Holland, said DOJ told him it was coming down because of the colossal blunder of the Republican National Committee in sending out weird mailers to Democrats that sought to raise money for John McCain and that identified them as Republicans. Democrats said this was an example of "voter caging." Holland said it wasn't. He checked it out. It was just sloppiness.

"But one complaint is apparently enough to get these guys down," said Holland. "Doj can do what they want. I've had them before. They're nice people."

According to the DOJ press release:

"The observers and Department personnel will gather information on whether voters are subject to different voting qualifications or procedures on the basis of race, color, or membership in a language minority group; whether jurisdictions are complying with the minority language provisions of the Voting Rights Act; whether jurisdictions permit voters who are blind, disabled, or unable to read or write assistance by a person of their choice; whether jurisdictions allow voters who are blind to cast a private and independent ballot; and whether jurisdictions comply with the provisional ballot requirements of the Help America Vote Act.  To assist in these inquiries, the Department has deployed observers and monitors who speak Spanish, and a variety of Asian and Native American languages.  Both the federal observers and Department personnel will coordinate monitoring activities and maintain contact with local election officials."