‘The subpoenas represent an unprecedented fishing expedition…’
(Joshua Paladino, Liberty Headlines) The North Carolina State Board of Elections voted without opposition to dispute the federal government’s subpoena of millions of voter records.
The state will oppose the subpoenas on the grounds that state law prohibits them from sharing information on individual voters.
U.S. Attorney Robert Higdon filed the subpoenas with the state board and 44 county elections boards on behalf of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The investigation is part of a grand jury inquiry based in Wilmington, NC.
He did not give justification for the request of the records, Carolina Journal reported.
Higdon requested county documents from Aug. 30, 2013 to Aug. 30, 2018. The state board received a subpoena requesting voter registration and application documents dating from 2010 to 2018.
An election attorney who works with voter fraud cases said the subpoenas have to do with recent revelations of illegal immigrants voting.
A grand jury indicted 19 illegal immigrants for voting illegally in North Carolina on Aug. 24.
And an audit of North Carolina elections found 40 more non-citizen voters.
These instances were not evidence enough for the state board of elections, which teamed with the American Civil Liberties Union to litigate the case.
“The subpoenas represent an unprecedented fishing expedition,” said Chris Brook, the American Civil Liberties Union Of North Carolina’s legal director, despite the fact the request came from a grand jury. “It’ll jeopardize the privacy of millions of voters and distract from more urgent challenges to our voter system.”
Brook said the information could be used to frighten minority citizens from voting.
“ICE still hasn’t offered any explanation for why it wants this data,” Brook said. “Our perspective is that county officials should do everything in their power to protect the rights of voters.”
J. Christian Adams, president and general counsel at the Public Interest Legal Foundation, said ICE wants to investigate the illegal immigrants who voted and were indicted.
“They are conducting a criminal investigation into alien voting crimes,” Adams said in an email. “This really isn’t a story. One thing is for sure, it is a problem in North Carolina.”