RALEIGH – If the State Board of Elections (SBE) thought it had enough drama already, they’ll have to make room for another big lawsuit. This time, though, they will be playing the role of a defendant.
A coalition of national and local media are suing the N.C. State Board of Elections for records they say the Board “knowingly and intentionally violating state public records laws by refusing to fulfill public records request for months without any explanation as to why. And the SBE isn’t the only one withholding records, apparently, with Wake County Board of Elections also named in the lawsuit.
The records various media requested months ago are of public voter data collected by local and county board of elections in 2018 which were the subject of subpoenas from U.S. Attorney Robert Higdon’s office to those boards in a federal vote fraud probe. The federal investigation, which has had a tight lid since its announcement, targeted eastern North Carolina and the involvement of national security agencies indicated it may focus on voting fraud by illegal aliens. The U.S. Attorney first subpoenaed the local Boards for millions of records from dozens of counties, but then ultimately extended the time frame for furnishing the records due to close proximity to 2018 elections.
“[…] After the State Board of Elections formally asked North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein last fall to intervene in the case to block the subpoena, the board announced in February it would turn over data on 789 North Carolina voters.
Of that total, 289 were registered in 32 counties in the federal Eastern District of North Carolina. The other 500 came from elsewhere across the state. Most hadn’t voted in several election cycles, state election officials said.
Other than that, there’s been little clarity on who the voters are or why the state instructed county boards to collect several years of their voting histories, signed poll books and redacted ballots to deliver to federal investigators. […]”
That raw voter data, scrubbed of names and identifiers, is what the media outlets requested several months ago. Such data is almost always public record, and denials of public records requests require explanations. The records seekers never got any explanation at all, hence the lawsuit.
Will be interesting to see where this suit goes because of what it could reveal about the federal probe and even more cases election fraud in the Old North State. It’s a good thing Voter ID will be implemented for 2020 elections.
Read more about the lawsuit against the Boards of Elections here.