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Immigration Enforcement, DOJ Target 44 NC Counties for Massive Voter Information Grab

RALEIGH, N.C. —  Federal investigators connected to the U.S. Department of Justice, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and other federal agencies have subpoenaed massive troves of voter data from 44 North Carolina counties. The subpoenas  became public knowledge on September 4 after redacted language was posted to Twitter.

Eastern North Carolina counties targeted include Beaufort, Bertie, Bladen, Brunswick, Camden, Carteret, Chowan, Columbus, Craven, Cumberland, Currituck, Dare, Duplin, Edgecombe, Franklin, Gates, Granville, Greene, Halifax, Harnett, Hertford, Hyde, Johnston, Jones, Lenoir, Martin, Nash, New Hanover, Northampton, Onslow, Pamlico, Pasquotank, Pender, Perquimans, Pitt, Robeson, Sampson, Tyrrell, Vance, Wake, Warren, Washington, Wayne, and Wilson.

Based on documents provided by Southern Coalition for Social Justice, the subpoenas seek “all poll books, e-poll books, voting records, and/or voter authorization documents, executed official ballots that were submitted to, filed by, received by, and/or maintained by” the local board of elections over a five-year period, from August 30, 2013 to August 30, 2018.

[Click here for the state elections board’s un-redacted versions of federal subpoenas.]

According to reports, “State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement attorney Josh Lawson told the assistant U.S. Attorney handling the case in an email that the subpoenas are “the most exhaustive on record,” covering millions of documents. In the same email, Lawson said that complying with these requests will make it difficult for county officials to prepare for the approaching general election.”

The “North Carolina State Board of Elections” was also subpoenaed for “all voter registration and other documents” spanning an eight-year period, beginning January 1, 2010 through August 30, 2018.

UPDATE: See our one-pager on What We Know about the ICE Power Grab here.


“Our election officials have critical work to do, right now. This only gets in the way.” –Tomas Lopez, Democracy North Carolina

“The subpoenas issued on behalf of Immigration and Customs Enforcement come in the middle of election season— registration is in full swing, absentee ballots will be available soon, and early voting begins in weeks,” said Tomas Lopez, Executive Director of Democracy North Carolina in response to the subpoenas.  “Our election officials have critical work to do, right now. This only gets in the way.”

“ICE’s involvement raises the concern that the federal government is attempting to revive similar schemes against voters as those of the now-disbanded Pence-Kobach Commission before it,” Lopez added.

This is a developing story.