As we noted earlier, the Department of Justice yesterday released a list of counties across the country to which it will send teams of federal observers to monitor polling places, as it does every election year.
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Given DOJ's mixed record in recent years in protecting voting rights, and its efforts to push voter fraud cases despite a lack of evidence, we asked some experts whether the list of sites selected seemed appropriate.
Both Gerry Hebert, a former acting head of DOJ's voting-rights section, and Rick Hasen, a professor at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles and a leading authority on voting law, said that it did.
Hebert, however, questioned the decision to send monitors to Noxubee and Wilkinson counties in Mississippi.
Hebert noted in an email to TPMmuckraker that in Noxubee, DOJ brought a controversial, though ultimately successful, suit on behalf of white voters in 2006, representing the first time that the Voting Rights Act had been used on behalf of whites.
"What interest would they have in sending federal observers now,?" Hebert asked.
As for Wilkinson county, Hebert wrote: "It's hard to see why DOJ would send poll watchers to a county where the issues seem to be among two factions of black voters and not alleged discrimination by whites."
Still, these concerns aside, it sounds like there's little reason to believe that DOJ's list skews inappropriately toward making hay out of swing-state voter-fraud claims at the expense of a focus on voter intimidation.
The complete list follows after the jump...