The U.S. Department of Justice announced Monday that Pinellas County is one of three places in Florida that the agency will monitor as part of routine checks to ensure election officials follow voting laws.
The others are Palm Beach and DeSoto counties. The monitoring spans 35 areas across 19 states.
Officials with the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division will visit each location and focus on issues of voting access and voter fraud. It was not immediately clear why Pinellas was selected, but the Department noted that it has regularly conducted such monitoring since the Voting Rights Act was passed in 1965.
"This year we are using every lawful tool that we have, both civil and criminal, to protect the rights of millions of Americans to cast their vote unimpeded," Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in the federal statement. "Likewise, fraud in the voting process will not be tolerated. Fraud also corrupts the integrity of the ballot."