Seminole County Supervisor of Elections Michael Ertel got 15 calls from voters wanting to “unregister” to vote after the state said it would comply with part of a federal commission’s request for voters’ personal data. Ultimately, he convinced all who called to stay on the voter rolls. He says concerns over personal data being given to the federal panel are overblown because the state is only giving what is already available to the public. “You can’t pick and choose which public-records requests you comply with because you’re not sure about what the person’s going to do with the information,” Ertel said. Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner on Thursday wrote to the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, saying the state couldn’t give partial Social Security numbers, driver’s license information, criminal histories or personal data for police officers, judges and prosecutors because such information was exempt from Florida’s public records laws.
He said the state will give the commission voters’ names, addresses, date of birth and political party affiliation. It will also provide voter histories — if they voted, and whether they voted in person on Election Day, by early voting or by mail — but not for whom they voted.
That information is already available to anyone who asks for it. Florida will give the data to the commission based on the voters on the rolls as of June 30, so rescinding voter registration would be useless anyway.
“It’s too late, you’re on it. And don’t deregister, that’s insane,” said Matthew Isbell, a Tallahassee-based Democratic political consultant. “Your data is already out there. And you don’t like it? Guess what? I’ve got a May file and an April file that has you on it.”