NC Elections Board Votes To 'Quash' Fed Subpoena

Sep 7, 2018

The North Carolina Board of Elections voted 9-0 Friday morning to "quash" a broad subpoena from the U.S. Justice Department, which was seeking millions of records and ballots from past elections.

"The subpoena we've received was and remains overly broad, unreasonable, vague and clearly impacts singificant impacts of our voters," said Joshua Malcolm, the board's vice chair during the meeting.

The Justice Department issued the subpoenas in coordination with Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The state said the subpoena was "exhaustive" and would have required the Board of Elections to turn over 15 million documents from the last eight years, and also would have required 44 counties in eastern North Carolina turn over roughly 5.7 million ballots from since 2013.

The Board of Elections said it would have been difficult to prepare for the Nov. 6 election.

The Justice Department on Thursday said it was willing to give the state and the 44 counties a three-month extension, until January. It said the primary purpose of the subpoena was to ensure the ballots and documents were not destroyed, and it asked the state to black out any information on ballots that would show how someone voted.

But the bipartisan Board of Elections said Friday the subpoena was too large of a burden. It voted 9-0 to challenge the subpoenas.