Feds delay demand for North Carolina to give voting records to ICE

Feds delay demand for North Carolina to give voting records to ICE
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Federal prosecutors agreed Thursday to delay their demand that North Carolina election officials turn over millions of voting records to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) until next year.

A federal prosecutor agreed to postpone the deadline for the subpoena, which seeks approximately 20 million documents, after the state argued it would be a burden two months before the November elections, NBC reported

Assistant U.S. Attorney Sebastian Kielmanovich said in a letter to North Carolina's State Board of Elections on Thursday that the state would have until January 2019 to respond to the request.

He wrote that the original deadline, Sept. 25, was set in order to prevent records from being destroyed and warned that the delay was dependent on the preservation of the records, according to NBC.

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The subpoena, made at the request of ICE, asks the state to turn over “any and all voter registration applications and/or other documents ... that were submitted to, filed by, received by, or maintained by the North Carolina State Board of Elections” between Jan. 1, 2010, and Aug. 30 of this year.

The subpoena came as the Department of Justice (DOJ) last month announced that 19 non-citizens in North Carolina had illegally voted in the 2016 election. 

An audit by North Carolina’s state’s election board after the 2016 election found 41 confirmed noncitizen voters out of nearly 4.8 million. It also found 441 ineligible voters with disenfranchising felony convictions, NBC reported.

The documents requested include voter registration forms, absentee ballots and provisional voting forms. 

Justin Levitt, a former DOJ official who worked on voting rights under former President Obama, told NBC that the wide-ranging request is "nuts."

"It's nuts," he told the outlet. “It’s the equivalent of asking, in order to investigate bank fraud, asking the ten largest banks for all of their bank records pertaining to anybody. That’s not how you’d investigate a bank fraud."

President TrumpDonald John TrumpOver 100 lawmakers consistently voted against chemical safeguards: study CNN's Anderson Cooper unloads on Trump Jr. for spreading 'idiotic' conspiracy theories about him Cohn: Jamie Dimon would be 'phenomenal' president MORE has repeatedly claimed there was widespread voter fraud in the 2016 election, though the assertion has not been substantiated by any study.

Trump last year launched a commission to study voter fraud that was disbanded after several states refused to give voter information to the government.