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GOP AGs fume over Justice Department’s plans to ‘intrude’ in states’ elections

– A cohort of state attorneys general are warning the Justice Department against plans they claim Attorney General Merrick Garland signaled ‘intrude’ on their states’ authority to carry out elections.

Led by Republican Attorney General Todd Rokita of Indiana, the group of 16 GOP prosecutors wrote to Attorney General Merrick Garland on Wednesday criticizing his comments from March 3 at the Tabernacle Baptist Church in Selma, Alabama, in which he claimed that ‘democracy’ is under attack by ‘discriminatory, burdensome, and unnecessary restrictions on access to the ballot.’

‘The DOJ has no authority to dictate to the states in matters that concern their sovereign right to ensure safe, secure, and free elections,’ the letter says.

Garland launched the Justice Department’s Election Threats Task Force in March, saying he doubled the number of lawyers in the Voting Section of the Civil Rights Division.  

‘The right to vote is still under attack,’ Garland said last month. ‘That is why we are challenging efforts by states and jurisdictions to implement discriminatory, burdensome, and unnecessary restrictions on access to the ballot, including those related to mail-in voting, the use of drop boxes, and voter ID requirements.’

‘That is why we are working to block the adoption of discriminatory redistricting plans that dilute the vote of Black voters and other voters of color. We are holding accountable jurisdictions that fail to provide accessible vote centers for voters with disabilities,’ he said.

The AGs wrote in their letter that Garland’s actions amount to a ‘weaponization’ against the states, and his ‘views about elections are not only a serious threat to the principles of federalism and separation of powers, but also to democracy and the rule of law.’

‘Although we do not know exactly the strategy the DOJ intends to take with its numerous election attorneys, we intend to vigorously defend our election laws. We will not allow intimidation and fearmongering to supersede the will of the people,’ they wrote.

‘The Biden administration is weaponizing the U.S. Department of Justice against the states,’ Rokita told Fox News Digital. ‘These actions pose a direct threat to democracy, election integrity and the rule of law. We will stand up and defend our rightful authority within the framework of American federalism.’ 

‘With voter confidence at an all-time low,’ he said. ‘The U.S. Department of Justice should champion voter security measures instead of attacking states that implement them. And the DOJ should respect, as well, the constitutional provisions giving states the role of regulating elections.’

The AGs said that Garland’s claim that voter ID is an ‘unnecessary restriction on access to the ballot’ is incorrect.  

‘On the contrary, voter ID laws prevent voter fraud by stopping those who attempt to impersonate others at the polls,’ they wrote. 

The AGs note that the U.S. Supreme Court has held that voter ID laws are constitutional and do not impose a burden on the electorate. 

They also wrote that ‘voter fraud and voter impersonation is very real and occurs frequently.’

The AGs also took issue with Garland’s claim that some states have imposed ‘unnecessary restrictions’ related to absentee voting, including ‘mail-in voting’ and ‘the use of drop boxes.’

‘Numerous security risks exist with mail-in voting and drop boxes, and these methods of voting have led to the proliferation of election fraud,’ they noted.

Garland also asserted that the Voting Rights Act has been ‘drastically weakened’ with an ‘increase in legislative measures that make it harder for millions of eligible voters to vote and to elect the representatives of their choice.’ 

‘This statement is factually incorrect,’ the AGs wrote. ‘The Voting Rights Act is not under attack. Election security measures passed by state governments do not ‘make voting more difficult,’ nor are they dismantling the right to vote. 

‘Instead, common sense election laws strengthen our electoral process to ensure free and fair elections are conducted among the states, especially since voter fraud does exist.’

‘Across the country, the 2020 general election generated mass confusion and distrust in the system,’ they said. 

‘Public confidence in our election system is at record low with more than 30% of the electorate believing that the 2020 election was stolen due to voter fraud. By using the DOJ against the states, you continue to sow the seeds of distrust among the American electorate,’ they wrote.

The Justice Department did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.

This post appeared first on FOX NEWS

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