The N&O’s Colon Campbell — renowned for his blockbuster HB2 disinformation extravaganza — is doing his best to whip up hysteria among the public, carry leftist water, and just plain lie to the dwindling number of people who still read his paper.
“Incompetent federal investigators want to see your ballots” screams the headline above Campbell’s latest masterpiece:
It’s amateur hour at the federal Department of Justice and Immigrations and Customs Enforcement.
The agencies won’t say what exactly they’re investigating, but they recently submitted subpoenas for a massive amount of voting records — including completed ballots — from North Carolina elections agencies.[…]
Once again, we’re conveniently OMITTING the fact that the subpoena originated from an on-going empaneled grand jury in Wilmington. Those proceedings are, by law, highly top-secret. Publicly revealing the details of a grand jury session can land you behind bars faster than you can say “Duke lacrosse.”
[…] They want millions of documents spanning an eight-year period, and initially they wanted them in a matter of weeks, although they’ve since granted an extension until after the upcoming election.[…]
It’s funny. I seem to remember this particular nose-picker being part of a drive-by cabal complaining about how slow state agencies under Gov. Pat McCrory were in fulfilling record requests. Now, being slow is (apparently) perfectly understandable.
Also, in the wake of the leftist hysteria (boosted by the drivebys) over the subpoenas, the US attorney’s office announced (1) that the documents could wait until January and (2) reasonable redactions could be done to protect individual voter privacy regarding ballots.
Ooops. There goes Colon’s whole basis for this silly tantrum.
[…] Because ICE is involved, we can assume they’re investigating possible voter fraud by non-citizens. Last month, 19 foreign citizens were charged in North Carolina with casting ballots in the 2016 general election. That news is troubling, and so it makes sense for investigators to look for other illegal votes.
But these wannabe immigration sleuths don’t seem to know what they’re doing.[…]
That’s gotta be rich. Having your competence questioned by Young Colon — fresh out of J-school, with his only previous work experience being staking out bathrooms for The N&O. (One could arguably claim that Campbell, with his blatant and frequent disregard for accurate and truthful information doesn’t seem to know what he’s doing. *Or maybe he really does. Maybe it’s THE PLAN.*)
[…] The absurdly broad subpoenas are causing headaches for elections officials who — thanks to multiple lawsuits — are already running late preparing ballots for the upcoming election. The subpoenas arrived by fax late on the Friday before Labor Day, and agency attorneys had to scramble to respond.[….]
God forbid government employees are pressured to step up their game. (Didn’t we already establish that the feds said compliance could wait until after November’s vote?) Again, it’s interesting that now — in the era of Cooper — it’s okey dokey for government employees to take their sweet time fulfilling records requests.
[…] Copying millions of ballots and other voting forms would take a ton of staff resources, and many of the counties have only one or two full-time staffers in their elections office. That’s time that would be better spent registering new voters and improving election security.
It sounds like the grand jury is doing its part to improve election security. (And to make sure any new voters registered are legally eligible to be registered.)
[…] The subpoenaed documents are also completely unnecessary. ICE should be able to identify non-citizens using publicly available voter records, much of which is already online. The state elections board website allows anyone to enter a name and find out if that person is registered to vote and which elections they voted in.[…]
How do you know exactly what they’re looking for? (For instance, it’s tough to compare handwriting samples ONLINE.)
I can’t imagine EVERYTHING elections staff has on me and the rest of North Carolina’s voters is in the public venue.
[…] ICE could easily download the available registration data and cross-reference it with immigration databases to find possible offenders. Instead, investigators want copies of everyone’s ballot. It took a public outcry for the federal prosecutor to tell elections officials they can redact the ballots to keep voters’ choices confidential.[…]
[…] ICE and the U.S. District Attorney for eastern North Carolina, Robert Higdon, owe the public an explanation. But they’ve refused to tell anyone — including the elections officials — what they’re investigating, and why they want the documents.
Again, it’s a grand jury. They don’t owe you anything.
[…] Thankfully, the state Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement plans to fight the subpoenas. On Friday, Republicans and Democrats on the board voted unanimously to ask the courts to reject the subpoenas.
“This board stands ready to assist any appropriate federal/state law enforcement/prosecutorial agency in pursuit of any suspected illegal activity involving the voting process,” elections board vice chairman Joshua Malcolm said Friday. “But, this board will, as required by our fiduciary responsibilities as state election officials, not stand idly by and consent to any agency attempting to obtain records and documents that violate the principles of overreach by the federal government.”
U.S. Rep. David Price, a Democrat, said the subpoenas were an effort “to intimidate voters and disrupt the administration of an election.” Regardless of the motive, the impact of the subpoenas is that some voters who heard the news are scared. They don’t want the federal government to know who they voted for, and they might be considering skipping this election.
Higdon and ICE need to drop the subpoenas and reassure voters that the federal government isn’t interested in knowing who they voted for. Once the mess is cleaned up, they can work with state elections officials to use public data to crack down on non-citizen voting.