North Carolina elections board fights ICE subpoena for voting records

The North Carolina state elections board on Friday unanimously voted to ask the state's attorney general to ...

Posted: Sep 8, 2018 1:06 PM
Updated: Sep 8, 2018 1:06 PM

The North Carolina state elections board on Friday unanimously voted to ask the state's attorney general to quash a subpoena from the US attorney and Immigration and Customs Enforcement for eight years of voting records.

The board unanimously voted not only to fight the subpoena on the state level, but also on behalf of 44 counties who were similarly subpoenaed.

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The decision was made during a public meeting, although the board met in closed executive session for roughly 40 minutes before returning to the public session and voting on their motion.

Board Vice Chairman Joshua Malcolm announced the decisions of the board for the vote, calling the subpoena "overly broad, unreasonable, vague, and clearly impacts significant interests of our voters." Malcolm noted that the board for decades has "routinely" referred anything that might be illegal with voting to the US attorney's office for investigation, and the board "stands ready" to continue to assist law enforcement.

But he said the board will "not stand idly by and consent to any agency attempting to obtain records and documents that violate the principles of overreach by the federal government, as in this circumstance."

The move comes after the request from ICE and the Justice Department raised eyebrows among Democratic lawmakers and privacy, civil rights and immigration advocacy groups.

ICE and the US attorney's office declined to comment.

To kick off the public hearing and before the closed discussion, board Chairman Andy Penry described the situation at hand, with a perceptible sense of frustration.

He said the subpoena arrived "out of the blue" at 5 p.m. on Friday, August 31, heading into a holiday weekend. He noted multiple times that the US attorney's office did not reach out prior at any point to discuss it, even though the board's general counsel's contact information is posted online. He said other county boards had already started receiving the notices, and only some of them have actually been properly "served" with the subpoena legally. He said the board had received a fax, not service, on Friday.

"The subpoena ... seeks documents that would disclose very confidential information about the voters, including what their ballots actually looked like," Penry said. "We have not been given a reason as to why ICE wants that information, and candidly I cannot think of why they'd want that information."

He said that the board staff and county boards had "a lot of energy used" over the weekend to respond, including calculating that there are more than 15 million documents that would have to be produced.

He said they told the US attorney how many documents it would take, especially at a busy time.

"We made sure that they knew that there was an election on November 6, 2018, and the job of this board and the county board is to administer elections, and we made sure that they knew that there were lawyers here who could have been contacted in advance and could still be contacted to discuss this matter," Penry said.

He did note the US attorney's office on Thursday sent a letter acknowledging the concern, after press coverage of the subpoena, and delayed the deadline until January 2019, but their vote made clear that was not enough and they would fight the subpoena. They did agree, however, to preserve any documents until the matter is resolved.

"We are pleased that the US Attorney's office finally decided to actually contact us," Penry said. "They decided that it wasn't as urgent as their subpoena said and they would accept January 2019 for these documents ... Most of the documents are already online, we don't have any intention of destroying the documents and we don't have any intention of putting our servers on a plane to Ecuador or some other country that doesn't have a treaty with the United States, the documents are going to be there."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 500709

Reported Deaths: 9977
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison34312538
DeSoto32080403
Hinds31924627
Jackson24482379
Rankin21983390
Lee15530235
Madison14574280
Jones13838242
Forrest13447251
Lauderdale11985316
Lowndes11030188
Lamar10508135
Pearl River9503237
Lafayette8547139
Hancock7728126
Washington7422157
Oktibbeha7142131
Monroe6769176
Warren6682176
Pontotoc6659102
Neshoba6635206
Panola6520131
Marshall6462134
Bolivar6313148
Union602494
Pike5817152
Alcorn5667101
Lincoln5433135
George496779
Scott472698
Tippah469081
Prentiss466881
Leflore4657144
Itawamba4633105
Adams4586119
Tate4584110
Copiah448592
Simpson4445116
Yazoo443987
Wayne439772
Covington428794
Sunflower4237105
Marion4225108
Coahoma4159104
Leake408288
Newton381679
Grenada3706108
Stone359764
Tishomingo359692
Attala331489
Jasper329965
Winston314291
Clay307976
Chickasaw299667
Clarke292494
Calhoun279346
Holmes267887
Smith263850
Yalobusha233747
Tallahatchie227151
Greene219048
Walthall218763
Lawrence212440
Perry205356
Amite205155
Webster202746
Noxubee186640
Montgomery179656
Jefferson Davis171542
Carroll168838
Tunica159439
Benton148738
Kemper141941
Choctaw133426
Claiborne132437
Humphreys129238
Franklin120028
Quitman106428
Wilkinson105139
Jefferson94534
Sharkey64020
Issaquena1937
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 817054

Reported Deaths: 15320
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1145501922
Mobile724601333
Madison52172694
Shelby37533348
Baldwin37192547
Tuscaloosa35044606
Montgomery34067734
Lee23195245
Calhoun22205476
Morgan20754376
Etowah19811497
Marshall18317302
Houston17345411
St. Clair15983339
Cullman15383292
Limestone15298198
Elmore15161284
Lauderdale14225294
Talladega13802276
DeKalb12622260
Walker11162369
Blount10162175
Autauga9954146
Jackson9844182
Coffee9195191
Dale8880185
Colbert8826201
Tallapoosa7071198
Escambia6764130
Covington6699183
Chilton6627161
Russell627959
Franklin5955105
Chambers5567142
Marion4982126
Dallas4936200
Clarke474583
Pike4722105
Geneva4566126
Winston4502103
Lawrence4296117
Bibb424086
Barbour356676
Marengo337789
Monroe331463
Randolph328763
Butler325696
Pickens315682
Henry311965
Hale311088
Cherokee301760
Fayette291879
Washington251351
Cleburne247360
Crenshaw244375
Clay241768
Macon232363
Lamar222047
Conecuh185853
Coosa179739
Lowndes174564
Wilcox167939
Bullock151644
Perry138340
Sumter132738
Greene126644
Choctaw88127
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