September 6, 2018/Press

Trump Administration, DOJ, ICE Launch New Voter Intimidation Effort Targeting NC

Raleigh – The Trump Administration, including the U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), recently filed a subpoena for “massive” troves of voter data, including previously cast ballots, opening a new front in Republicans efforts to suppress voters for this fall’s elections.

The subpoenas cover the 44 counties that make up eastern North Carolina, and asked for “poll books, e-poll books, voting records, and/or voter authorization documents, and executed official ballots (including absentee official ballots).” Meanwhile, a separate DOJ subpoena covers more than 8 years of voting records for the entire state – all 100 counties.

The message is clear: the Trump administration and ICE is trying to intimidate voters, especially minority voters, ahead of this year’s election.

The subpoenas’ scope is unprecedented – the State Board of Elections called the subpoenas “the most exhaustive on record,” while Wake County Board of Elections Chairman Greg Flynn called it a “fishing expedition” that “serves no useful purpose” other than “breaching secrecy.”

Meanwhile, the state is sixty days out from the midterm elections where young people, people of color, and Democratic-leaning voters are expected to show up at a higher rate than normal. Turnout among these voters have fueled Democratic victories in special elections and primaries across the country since 2016. Now these very same people are being intimidated by a Trump administration that has repeatedly shown its hostility to voting rights and minority voters.

“The Trump administration and national Republicans appear to be launching a massive, unprecedented voter suppression effort in North Carolina just sixty days until the midterm elections,” NCDP Executive Director Kimberly Reynolds said. “Repeated phishing attempts by the Trump administration to find widespread voter fraud have failed, and now they’re turning to blatant scare tactics to keep Democratic-leaning voters from the polls.”