Holder to Send Poll Watchers to 18 States

The DOJ will send monitors to 18 states to "watch for discrimination against voters."

Monitors will head to Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, North Carolina, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin.

“One of the Justice Department’s most sacred responsibilities is ensuring access to the ballot box for every eligible American,” Attorney General Eric Holder said in a video message on the department’s website.

“I want the American people to know that the Justice Department will stand vigilant — working in a fair and nonpartisan manner to ensure that every voter can cast his or her ballot free of intimidation, discrimination or obstruction,” he said.

This is the first election since the Supreme Court overturned parts of the Voting Rights Act in Shelby County v. Holder. That case allowed states to change voting laws without oversight from the Justice Department.

And of course, "Holder used his statement to slam voter ID laws in a number of states. He called those laws 'restrictive,' 'burdensome' and 'out of step with history.' But he emphasized that the Justice Department has to protect existing laws."