North Carolina

ICE subpoenas 44 NC elections boards, including Pitt County

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) - More than 40 North Carolina elections boards have been subpoenaed by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, officials say.

Tuesday, the state elections board voted to fight the subpoenas issued by federal prosecutors.

Members made a unanimous decision to ask state attorneys to block the order.

Prosecutors are seeking millions of voting documents and years of ballots for boards in 44 counties, including Pitt County.

Pitt County's subpoena request includes poll books, voter authorization documents, executed official ballots and more dating back to 2013.

"We wait for legal folks and the state board of elections to guide us and tell us what we need to do," director of elections of Pitt County, Dave Davis, said.

The subpoena comes via the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina.

Click here to see the unredacted subpoena

The North Carolina State Board of Elections Enforcement addressed the development during a conference call Friday.

This comes 17 days before absentee voting is scheduled to start. Local election boards are also working to adjust to a new early voting schedule that was recently approved by the General Assembly.

The subpoena requests "any and all poll books,e-poll books, 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 [redacted] County Board of Elections from August 30, 2013 through August 30, 2018."

The subpoena follows a mid-August announcement that 19 illegal immigrants in North Carolina illegally voted during the 2016 election.

A news release from United States Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina also said several of those charged voted in more than one election. The indictments were made by a federal grand jury in Wilmington and included illegal voting in Wake, Johnston, Cumberland and Wilson counties.

One of the group, Ramon Esteban Paez-Jerez, 58, of the Dominican Republic, voted illegally in Wake County on Nov. 8, 2016, officials say. He was also charged with two counts of passport fraud, the news release said.

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