Federal investigators in North Carolina are seeking an enormous number of voting records from dozens of election offices weeks before the midterm elections, demands that may signal their expanded efforts to prosecute illegal voting by people who are not U.S. citizens. The U.S. attorney’s office in Raleigh issued subpoenas in recent days on behalf of Immigration and Customs Enforcement to the North Carolina elections board and more than 40 county boards in the eastern third of the state, according to the subpoenas and the state board. The same federal prosecutor announced two weeks ago that 19 foreign nationals were charged with registering to vote or casting ballots illegally because they weren’t U.S. citizens. More than half were indicted by a grand jury in Wilmington, according to an Aug. 24 news release from U.S. Attorney Bobby Higdon’s office.
The subpoenas direct the information — which the state elections board estimates would cover well over 20 million documents — be provided to a Wilmington grand jury Sept. 25, or before that to a Raleigh-area immigration agent. Higdon’s office had no comment Wednesday, a spokeswoman said. Last month’s news release said the investigation into voting fraud was ongoing.
Still, voting rights activists described the massive document request as a fishing expedition that could discourage lawful voting. Separately, election officials are worried about trying to meet the deadline while gearing up to administer elections for Congress, legislature and constitutional amendments. Counties could seek deadline delays and the state board plans to discuss its subpoena at a Friday meeting.
Samples of county board subpoenas seek all ballots, poll books and voter authorization forms over the past five years. The subpoena to the State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement wants records going back to 2010, including voter registration applications, absentee ballot request forms and provisional balloting forms from all 100 of the state’s counties.
Full Article: Investigators seek massive North Carolina voting records.