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: 350070

Reported Deaths: 7590
CountyCasesDeaths
Hinds24512449
DeSoto23513283
Harrison21172335
Rankin15798293
Jackson15735254
Madison11171227
Lee10903180
Jones9223169
Forrest9027163
Lauderdale8087244
Lamar724890
Lowndes7199152
Lafayette6631125
Washington5661140
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Oktibbeha503198
Bolivar5004134
Warren4817128
Panola4812112
Marshall4739106
Pontotoc452473
Hancock440388
Neshoba4401181
Union438979
Monroe4369138
Lincoln4228116
Pike3739114
Leflore3676125
Alcorn355374
Tate354988
Sunflower351094
Adams347490
Scott346677
Yazoo342977
Copiah330869
Simpson327191
Itawamba317281
Coahoma315685
Tippah312869
Prentiss302563
Covington302384
Marion289882
Leake288676
Wayne280945
George277351
Grenada272188
Newton266864
Tishomingo240770
Winston238084
Stone235338
Jasper234748
Attala228674
Chickasaw221460
Holmes202574
Clay201954
Clarke189580
Tallahatchie185642
Calhoun183232
Smith183036
Yalobusha173641
Walthall150449
Lawrence145426
Greene141935
Amite139144
Noxubee137235
Perry136138
Montgomery133944
Carroll127031
Webster124332
Jefferson Davis119834
Tunica116127
Benton107825
Claiborne105931
Kemper104429
Humphreys102333
Franklin88424
Quitman86319
Choctaw83119
Wilkinson79332
Jefferson72228
Sharkey51918
Issaquena1746
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 592417

Reported Deaths: 11542
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson861091591
Mobile49771865
Madison37714533
Shelby27501259
Tuscaloosa27344465
Montgomery26343628
Baldwin25860329
Lee17336181
Calhoun15498334
Morgan15225291
Etowah15060370
Marshall13198236
Houston12191293
Elmore10977219
St. Clair10852252
Limestone10816158
Cullman10610206
Lauderdale10305254
DeKalb9594192
Talladega9005188
Walker7840288
Autauga7615114
Jackson7431117
Blount7417139
Colbert6752142
Coffee6443132
Dale5723117
Russell482243
Chilton4810117
Covington4804125
Franklin462781
Tallapoosa4571156
Escambia451083
Chambers3987125
Dallas3751163
Clarke372263
Marion3470107
Pike334079
Lawrence3277100
Winston300773
Bibb292865
Geneva288383
Marengo262967
Barbour253761
Pickens247762
Butler242472
Hale236778
Fayette228165
Henry216545
Monroe204541
Randolph202844
Cherokee200748
Washington186839
Macon171552
Crenshaw170658
Clay167159
Cleburne161845
Lamar151938
Lowndes146255
Wilcox132331
Bullock126542
Conecuh122132
Coosa119529
Perry111228
Sumter110633
Greene99337
Choctaw64425
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