Stung by the release of detailed voter information on 1.5 million Utahns online in January, Utah lawmakers are taking action to protect voter information. A bill making two changes in the voter information process passed the House by a 71-2 vote on Tuesday. The bill, HB 302, would keep voter birth date information classified and would also allow voters to opt into a program to protect all of their information, going forward. The bill now advances to the Senate for further consideration. Sponsored by Rep. Becky Edwards, the bill is one of two voter information related items being considered by the Legislature this session. It comes weeks after a New Hampshire man bought a voter registration list from the state and made that personal information available online for free. The information includes names, birth dates, phone numbers and the voting activity of everyone in specific households during recent elections.
With the passage of GRAMA laws in 2006, the lieutenant governor’s office, which oversees elections, is required to make voter information available. The information is now for sale for $1,050.
Edwards said it is wrong that government enables possible abuse.
“This is something that people are asking for. It does not harm fair elections. People shouldn’t have to trade in their right to vote in order to ensure their right to privacy,” Edwards said. This is the third year the North Salt Lake representative has run legislation related to the privacy issue, but the first time the bill has moved his far.
Full Article: Legislature moves to bottle up some Utah voter data.