CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - The United States Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina has issued subpoenas demanding all voting records from 44 counties across the state as well as, separately, a subpoena seeking a broad swath of information from the North Carolina State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement.
The subpoenas were served via fax by a special agent with the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement office in Cary on Friday.
The grand jury subpoena commands the county boards of elections to produce “any and all poll books, e-pol lbooks, voting records, and/or voter authorization documents, and executed official ballots (including absentee official ballots), that were submitted to, filed by, received by, and/or maintained by the Board of Elections from August 30, 2013 through August 30, 2018.”
The date of the grand jury hearing at which these materials will be considered is September 25, 2018.
An chain of emails between an attorney at the NCSBE, a lawyer in the US Attorney’s Office and county boards of elections sheds the first light on what 44 counties are subject to the subpoenas:
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 County Board of Elections.
The email chain obtained by WBTV begins with Josh Lawson, the general counsel for the NCSBE, expressing concern about the impact the subpoenas will have on upcoming elections to the lead lawyer for the USAO.
“As indicated on the call, 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.). The subpoenas faxed to county boards are the most exhaustive on record,” Lawson said.
“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,” Lawson’s email continued. “We are not, however, counsel to individual county boards and are not authorized to make requests on their behalf.”
The lawyer from the US Attorney’s Office, Sebastian Kielmanovich, responded by saying the counties may seek an extension for producing the requested information.
“Please provide my email address to each county board for extension requests. Requests will be considered upon execution of a document to be provided committing to preserve/not destroy the requested information. For those counties that do not wish to make a request, we will expect production of the documents by the deadline,” Kielmanovich wrote in an email to Lawson.
Document: Read the subpoena to the NCSBE
It is not immediately clear what the underlying case being investigated by the grand jury is for which these records have been requested.
In addition to the subpoenas served upon the county boards of election, the NCSBE received a subpoena seeking the following:
- Standard Voter Registration Application forms
- Federal Post Card Applications (FPCA)
- Federal Write-In-Absentee Ballots (FWAB)
- One-Stop (Early Voting) application forms
- Provision Voting forms
- N.C. Absentee Ballot Request forms
- Any and all “Admission or Denial of Non-Citizen Return Form” that were generated by the North Carolina State Board of Elections, or were caused to be generated by the North Carolina Board of Elections, and/or the Ethics Enforcement Office.
- Any and all Voter Registration Cancellation or Voter Revocation forms that have been generated by the North Carolina State Board of Elections, and/or the Ethics Enforcement Office.
The North Carolina State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement announced it would hold a meeting to discuss how to respond to these subpoenas on Friday.