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For the Record' update: Eric Holder sends federal monitors to oversee elections in 18 states

Voters fill the booths voting Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012, at the Stockton Community Center in Stockton, Minn. After a grinding presidential campaign, Americans are heading into polling places across the country. Credit: AP

As Americans head to the polls on Election Day, voters in 18 states will be casting their ballots under the watchful eye of the Department of Justice.

The DOJ is sending poll watchers to some of the sites of today's most closely contested Senate races including Georgia, Kansas and North Carolina.

In a video statement on the DOJ's YouTube channel, Holder said, “One of the Justice Department’s most sacred responsibilities is ensuring access to the ballot box for every eligible American.”

He also criticized "certain unnecessarily restrictive proposals like certain voter ID laws."

Holder said the poll watchers "will gather information on numerous aspects of local election procedures, including whether voters are treated differently based on their race or color."

In October, For the Record investigated Holder's record of fighting against laws that would require voters to show ID and downplaying of the threat of voter fraud.

Holder maintains that voter fraud is not a concern. In 2012 he told MSNBC that voter ID laws are "solutions that deal with a problem that does not really exist."

However, in "General Holder's War" For the Record highlighted a number of recent cases, including a Connecticut state representative charged with 19 cases of voter fraud and an Ohio poll worker who admitted to voting multiple times for President Obama in the 2012 election.

The conservative watchdog organization Judicial Watch recently released a letter exposing efforts by some NAACP leaders in North Carolina to mislead voters today, creating confusion and manufacturing evidence for upcoming litigation involving the state's election integrity laws.

A recent study found indications that non-citizens may have swung the results of some recent elections by voting illegally. One of those elections was Al Franken's razor-thin victory over Norm Coleman in Minnesota's 2008 Senate race. That result gave the Democrats 60 votes in the Senate and allowed them to pass the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

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