Federal prosecutors on Thursday postponed a deadline for North Carolina election officials to provide voting records requested by federal immigration officials until after the Nov. 6 election. The U.S. Attorney’s office for the Eastern District of North Carolina said in a letter that prosecutors would postpone the deadline until January and consider modifying the request, as long as election officials verified in writing that they wouldn’t destroy any relevant records. Prosecutors, at the request of immigration officials, had originally requested more than 20 million county and state records covering an eight-year period to be turned over by Sept. 25. North Carolina election officials had argued the effort required to collect the records would jeopardize their ability to prepare for this fall’s election.
Prosecutors “want to do nothing to impede [the coming election] preparations or to affect participation in or the outcome of those elections,” wrote Assistant U.S. Attorney Sebastian Kielmanovich in a letter to the North Carolina State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement. Mr. Kielmanovich also asked that names be redacted from any ballots produced as part of the request be redacted to prevent disclosure of a voter’s choice of candidate.
The subpoenas are part of an investigation into voter fraud in which 19 foreigners were charged or indicted, according to a federal law-enforcement official. The Justice Department has said the investigation was led by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, operating under the agency’s newly created Document and Benefit Fraud Task Force.