The North Carolina Board of Elections 9-0 vote last week to fight a wide-ranging subpoena from the U.S. Justice Department was a rare moment of bipartisanship in the state, with Republicans saying the federal government overreached in an apparent effort to fight voter fraud. The board’s four Republicans voted with the four Democratic members and one unaffiliated member. The U.S. Justice Department and Immigration and Customs Enforcement have asked for more than 20 million election documents and ballots, from 2010. The subpoena asked for about 2.3 million absentee ballots from the last five years. Absentee ballots – which were mostly cast during early voting – are traceable to the voter. That means the federal government could have determined how people voted.
“We wanted to make sure we protect the secret ballot,” said Stacy Eggers, a Republican board member from Watauga County. “This wasn’t a Republican-Democrat matter. It was a bipartisan matter.”
Some Democratic politicians have criticized the subpoena as politically motivated.
Democrat Alma Adams, Charlotte’s Congressional representative from the 12 District, said in a statement that it was a “clearly a coordinated effort by the Trump Administration to intimidate and disenfranchise voters from exercising their fundamental right.”