Published: Sun, July 16, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

White House Responds to Voters' Privacy Concerns by Publishing Their Information

White House Responds to Voters' Privacy Concerns by Publishing Their Information

Thousands of Colorado residents have canceled their voter registrations, afraid that President Donald Trump's voter fraud commission would publicly release private information.

"I mean, what are they trying to hide if they don't want a presidential advisory commission to study their state voter rolls?" he asked.

"You will open up the entire voting population to a massive amount of fraud if this data is in any way released", wrote one voter.

That includes four cases this year: a man who pleaded guilty to forging signatures on a petition to qualify a ballot initiative during the 2016 general election; a woman who voted twice - in 2013 and 2016 - using her dead father's name; and a woman who forged her dead parents' names in multiple elections.

Unfortunately for these voters and others who wrote in, the Trump administration did not redact any of their personal information from the emails before releasing them to the public. People's names, email addresses, physical addresses, and phone numbers were included in the correspondences, which have now been plastered on the web. The emails were sent to the address that the administration asked Secretaries of State to send data files to. "The federal government is attempting to get the name, address, birth date, political party, and social security number of every voter in the country".

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The White House voter integrity page does say it "may post such written comments publicly on our website, including names and contact information that are submitted".

Those responses, though, have been published complete with commenters' personal information.

"These are public comments, similar to individuals appearing before commission to make comments and providing [names] before making comments", Lotter said.

Trump established the panel in May in an effort to uncover instances of voter fraud, but a legal challenge over the commission's request has placed the issue on hold.

The White House website encouraged the public to submit comments to the commission, and many of them did so - only to have much of their information made publicly available through the website.

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