Gov. Rick Scott’s chief elections official is in big trouble with two key groups: state legislators who write the voting laws and county supervisors who run elections. Secretary of State Ken Detzner can’t afford to alienate either constituency as Florida heads toward a presidential election in 2016, when the eyes of the nation will again be on the biggest battleground state. Lawmakers blasted Detzner Wednesday for fighting their plan to let people register to vote online by October 2017. Elections officials, meanwhile, were livid to learn that Detzner released private data on more than 45,000 voters — including judges and police officers — and didn’t alert them immediately.
Detzner’s office acknowledged that the security breach on so-called high-risk voters — who should have been exempt from disclosure — included judges, police, firefighters, prosecutors, public defenders and crime victims and their family members, among others.
By law, those voters can choose to keep private information that’s generally public on the voter rolls, including birth dates, home and email addresses, party affiliations and phone numbers if provided. “Their safety has been compromised,” said Polk County Supervisor of Elections Lori Edwards.