In a bid to aggressively prosecute illegal voting, the Justice Department has sent sweeping subpoenas to 44 counties in North Carolina requesting all of their recent voting records. State election officials say the move will overwhelm their resources and prevent them from preparing for early and absentee voting for the November midterms. And civil rights advocates worry that eligible voters will be intimidated and deterred from voting as the administration amplifies its prosecutions of immigrants it says voted illegally.
One subpoena, sent to 44 county election boards last week, asks for “any and all poll books, e-poll books, voting records, and/or voter authorization documents, and executed official ballots (including absentee ballots)” from August 2013 to August 2018. Another subpoena asks the state board of elections for “all voter registration applications,” along with documents including absentee ballots and early voting forms, for every county in the state over the past eight years.
The timing and scope of the subpoenas, issued barely two months before the 2018 midterms, has alarmed election officials in North Carolina. “We are deeply concerned by the administrative drain on county boards of elections in order to comply with the extensive subpoenas immediately prior to a federal election, including the necessary reproduction of millions of documents (all ballots, etc.),” Joshua Lawson, the general counsel for the state board of elections, wrote to the Justice Department. “The subpoenas faxed to county boards are the most exhaustive on record. In our view, compliance with the subpoena as-written will materially affect the ability of county administrators to perform time-critical tasks ahead of absentee voting and early voting.”
These priorities are one reason it’s so important to ram Kavanaugh through.