Board Director Kristin Scott said the subpoena was received Tuesday and requests the board turn over five years of election records.
She expects the subpoena will mean thousands of local records will be turned over to the government. There has been an election within the requested time frame where the county has had 69 percent turnout.
WRAL reported today the request may be tied to a grand jury investigation which last month charged 19 foreign nationals with voting in the 2016 elections. The TV station reported the subpoenas come from investigators in that case — U.S. Attorney Sebastian Kielmanovich and Homeland Security/ICE Special Agent Jahaira Torrens.
The News & Observer reported on its website today the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina subpoenaed the state records Friday.
The newspaper also reported the State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement said subpoenas also went to the 44 counties in the eastern district, which cover Halifax, Northampton and Warren counties.
The N&O reported a meeting notice from the board says the subpoena came at the request of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
The other counties are Beaufort, Bertie, Bladen, Brunswick, Camden, Carteret, Chowan, Columbus, Craven, Cumberland, Currituck, Dare, Duplin, Edgecombe, Franklin, Gates, Granville, Greene, Harnett, Hertford, Hyde, Johnston, Jones, Lenoir, Martin, Nash, New Hanover, Onslow, Pamlico, Pasquotank, Pender, Perquimans, Pitt, Robeson, Sampson, Tyrrell, Vance, Wake, Washington, Wayne and Wilson.
Scott said she has notified the board and the county attorney. “We’re trying to make sure we understand what they have requested.”
As she understands the subpoena, the board of elections is expected to turn over authorization to vote papers — the ones which a voter signs before getting their ballot — the executed ballots, any and all poll books whether in hard copy or electronic form and other voting records.
The subpoena sets a September 25 deadline for return of the information.
How the subpoena affects preparation for the November 6 election is unknown, Scott said. “There are three of us in the office. I’m going to do the best I can.”
Scott said she understands the government will grant an extension if the deadline can’t be met.