In North Carolina, Trump-appointed U.S. Attorney Robert Higdon conducted a years-long investigation into potential illegal voting by non-citizens in the state — and recently, that probe drew to a close with no finding of the level of fraud that ex-President Donald Trump claimed was present in the 2016 election, which was a focus of the investigation. Before his delusional claims that the 2020 election was rigged for Joe Biden, Trump claimed that millions of illegal votes were cast as part of the 2016 presidential race — but there’s no meaningful evidence for this claim.
Higdon’s investigation ended with “a range of charges related to immigration, registration and election rules against about 70 people,” and over 40 of those charged “were accused of casting ballots illegally,” North Carolina outlet The News & Observer explains — and in 2016, over 4.7 million votes were cast in the state of North Carolina. In other words, while isolated instances of voter fraud have unfolded — and in 2020, at least a couple of those election fraudsters were Trump supporters (in Pennsylvania), no real evidence has emerged of remotely systematic fraud that has been in any way responsible for presidential election outcomes.
Higdon is no longer in office as U.S. Attorney after the Biden administration requested the resignations of U.S. Attorneys who were appointed by Trump. While still in power, Higdon’s team “served subpoenas on the State Board of Elections, county election boards and the Department of Motor Vehicles, effectively seeking records on every registered voter in the state,” the Observer says. These demands would have imposed “extraordinary burdens on the state and county boards,” the State Board of Elections said in a court filing, and Higdon’s office dramatically narrowed their demands to cover just over 700 voters. Complying with Higdon’s original pointless subpoenas would have cost authorities millions of dollars.
As North Carolina State Board of Elections spokesman Pat Gannon put it:
‘There is no evidence whatsoever of any type of widespread election fraud in North Carolina.’
Nevertheless, State Board of Elections Director Karen Brinson Bell recently faced tough questioning from Republican state lawmakers, who were upset over the state’s adoption of updated rules for the 2020 election that, in part, added on time for the counting of mail-in ballots received by authorities after Election Day, assuming they were originally sent by Election Day. The extension was a reaction to simultaneous postal slowdowns and increases in mail-in ballot usage. North Carolina state Sen. Bill Rabon (R) told Brinson Bell, “In my heart, you broke the law” — which is not how the law works!
By and large, Republicans are continuing their adherence to the shameful and false claim that the 2020 election was dubious. Georgia authorities recently used this idea as an excuse for a sweeping elections reform package that could have the net effect of voter suppression. Among other provisions, the legislation restricts the usage of mail-in ballot drop boxes to business hours, which could almost entirely shut out working people hoping to use them.