CLC is seeking information related to a massive attempt by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to gather voter registration and individual voter information from state and county officials in North Carolina.
The government has asked for mountains of voter data – over eight years’ worth – from 44 North Carolina counties and the State Board of Elections. The counties make up the eastern part of the state and contain a high concentration of minority voters.
These requests are part of an ongoing federal inquiry examining North Carolina voting records.
Investigators have requested eight years’ worth of voter registration applications in any language other than English. North Carolina election officials estimated that the requests encompassed millions of documents and described the volume of the requests as massive and absurd.
CLC is concerned that the government has been aggressively targeting foreign-born residents in an effort to unearth phantom stories of noncitizen voting, a likely precursor to passing more restrictive voting policies similar to those that the state has pursued in the past. In February 2019, North Carolina election officials agreed to provide records pertaining to 789 individual voters to the federal government.
CLC is attempting to get documents concerning ICE’s attempts to obtain voter registration records from election officials and other agencies in North Carolina, filing a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request on October 2, 2018. And although the urgency of the request has only increased, ICE has produced nothing in response.
On April 11, 2019, CLC filed a lawsuit asking a federal court to require ICE to produce these records, which would shed light on the motivation behind their activities. The public deserves to know about the governments’ unusual request for their voting records.