US Justice Department to dispatch fewer election observers
WASHINGTON - Justice Department officials are warning that they will be dispatching fewer election observers Nov. 8 as a result of a Supreme Court opinion that gutted a key provision of the Voting Rights Act.
The reduction is likely to diminish the department's ability to detect voter intimidation and other potential problems at the polls. It comes as more than a dozen states have adopted new voting and registration rules, and as Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump warns without evidence that the election will be rigged.
Justice Department officials say they still expect to send hundreds of staffers to the polls. But more of them will be so-called monitors, who have less authority than federally trained election observers.