Celeste Hadrick and Carol Eisenberg, Newsday, May 12, 2007
Two agents from the federal Homeland Security investigations office showed up at the Nassau Board of Elections Friday, inquiring the status of subpoenaed immigrant voting records, county sources said.
The Nassau and Suffolk Elections boards received agency subpoenas in recent weeks, requesting the voting history of certain voters who were born in other countries, sources at both boards said.
The subpoenas also sought addresses, party registration and signatures. The subjects were all foreign-born individuals from countries including Canada, Bulgaria, Jamaica, El Salvador, Cuba, Pakistan, Belize, Korea, Vietnam, Haiti, Chile, Israel and Yugoslavia.
Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford) said federal agents were investigating allegations a large number of immigrants in Nassau and Suffolk may have voted illegally. The immigrants were said to be legal residents of the United States. “The Eastern District is taking it very seriously and has issued the subpoenas,” King said.
Neither immigration investigators nor the U.S. attorney’s office would confirm the investigation. “We never confirm or deny whether or not we have an investigation going,” said Michael Gilhooly, a spokesman for the northeast regional office of ICE. A spokesman for Nassau District Attorney Kathleen Rice also declined to comment.
A lawyer with knowledge of election law said anyone who registers to vote must swear that they’re American citizens and the election board relies on that statement. Proof of citizenship is not required. Congress is investigating whether the Bush administration fired eight U.S. attorneys for refusing to pursue voter fraud charges.