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The FBI also issued a separate press release last month noting that the Justice Department was committed to the enforcement of federal laws “that prohibit voter intimidation and suppression based on race, color, national origin or religion,” and would ensure that “our men and women serving overseas have the opportunity to vote and have their votes counted.”

The Justice Department had come under increased scrutiny in recent months over its handling of a civil complaint in the New Black Panther Party case, initially sought by the Bush administration but later dismissed by Obama administration officials after a default judgment had been ordered by a federal judge.

Additionally, several states failed to comply with MOVE and many lawmakers wanted to know what the Justice Department had done or would be doing about it. Some lawmakers expressed concern that Justice officials did little after 16 states and territories were caught in noncompliance.