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WASHINGTON, D.C. (LifeSiteNews) – The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) issued a guidance on July 28 threatening legal action against state election audits and new voter integrity laws, amid new revelations about irregularities in the 2020 presidential election.

The two documents warned states that election investigations could lead to federal prosecution and that re-adoption of voting rules in place from before COVID-19 would merit inspection by the DOJ.

“The guidances issued today describe certain federal laws that help ensure free, fair, and secure elections,” Biden administration Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a July press release. “Where violations of such laws occur, the Justice Department will not hesitate to act.”

“Election audits are exceedingly rare,” the DOJ’s guidance on post-election audits stated. “But the Department is concerned that some jurisdictions conducting them may be using, or proposing to use, procedures that risk violating the Civil Rights Act.”

The guidance stressed the need to maintain the chain of custody of ballots – a significant problem among Democrat-led counties that relied heavily on mail-in voting last year – and cited “proposals to contact individuals face to face.”

“There have been reports, with respect to some of the post-2020 ballot examinations, of proposals to contact individuals face to face to see whether the individuals were qualified voters who had actually voted,” the DOJ guidance said, pointing to a statement of work by Cyber Ninjas, a Florida-based IT firm currently leading an election audit in Maricopa County, Arizona.

Cyber Ninjas’ statement of work discussed using in-person interviews in precincts to help verify election integrity, though that practice does not appear to have ever been used in audit. The DOJ’s election audit guidance cited no actual violations of the law, Just the News noted.

“This sort of activity raises concerns regarding potential intimidation of voters,” the DOJ said. The department further claimed, without evidence, that such efforts could “have a significant intimidating effect on qualified voters that can deter them from seeking to vote in the future” if they are “directed, or are perceived to be directed, at minority voters or minority communities.”

The Biden administration’s unsubstantiated arguments about voter intimidation resemble those cited by Democrats in a lawsuit shot down by the Supreme Court in July, which targeted a law in Arizona banning ballot harvesting.

“The plaintiffs were unable to provide statistical evidence showing that HB 2023 had a disparate impact on minority voters,” the Supreme Court ruled in a landmark 6-3 decision. “And without more concrete evidence, we cannot conclude that HB 2023 results in less opportunity to participate in the political process,” the ruling later added.

The DOJ’s second guidance document last week hinted at federal action on state laws that roll back fraud-prone election policies, like no-excuses mail-in voting, which were introduced across the U.S. during the coronavirus crisis last year.

“The Department’s enforcement policy does not consider a jurisdiction’s re-adoption of prior voting laws or procedures to be presumptively lawful; instead, the Department will review a jurisdiction’s changes in voting laws or procedures for compliance with all federal laws regarding elections, as the facts and circumstances warrant,” the guidance warned.

“We didn’t want to sort of give jurisdictions safe harbor to say, ‘Well because we ran our voting system this way before the pandemic, we’re free to go back to that,’ even if going back to that has a racially discriminatory impact,” an unnamed DOJ official told reporters last month.

“What we’re just saying to jurisdictions is: you should not assume that if you abandon the practices that have made it easier for people to vote, that abandonment is not going to get scrutiny from the Department of Justice.”

In fact, numerous election changes that stripped voting safeguards last year have been deemed illegal by state and federal courts, including in Colorado, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

Around one-third of states have passed legislation this year to tighten election security.

The Biden administration’s latest threats against state audits and election laws came less than two weeks after auditors in Arizona revealed that more 74,000 mail-in ballots from the 2020 election in Maricopa County lacked “clear indication” of having ever been sent. Nearly 20,000 people voted in the county shortly before being removed from the voter rolls, and over 11,000 appear to have been added to the rolls after voting, audit leaders also said.

And in Georgia, an election investigation authorized by a judge with a history of supporting Democrats recently turned up evidence of widespread errors in an official election recount in Fulton County, which includes Atlanta.

The DOJ sued Georgia in June over a bill enacted earlier this year mandating voter identification and limiting ballot drop boxes and private election process funding. The agency had tried to halt the Arizona election audit the previous month.

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