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DOJ election monitors headed to San Juan County

The Justice Department will send federal election observers to monitor the polls in San Juan County on Election Day.
The Justice Department will send federal election observers to monitor the polls in San Juan County on Election Day.
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SALT LAKE CITY — The Justice Department will send federal election observers to monitor the polls in San Juan County on Election Day.

The southern Utah county will be one of 67 jurisdictions where staffers will be watching for potential civil rights violations, such as discrimination on the basis of race, religion or gender.

The department didn't say why San Juan County was selected, but it was the target of a federal lawsuit from a Navajo group over its switch to mail-in ballots. The plaintiffs say it puts native voters at a disadvantage.

More than 500 staffers will be monitoring polls around the country, a 35 percent reduction from the number four years ago.

The Justice Department has said its poll-watching presence was curtailed by a Supreme Court opinion that gutted a key provision of the Voting Rights Act.