Nov 152018
 November 15, 2018  Posted by  Breaches, Court, Featured News, Govt

Sherman Smith reports:

The Kansas Attorney General’s office says in legal filings that Kris Kobach shouldn’t be held personally liable for exposing sensitive data about Kansas voters and that those affected have no constitutional right to privacy for their information.

Court documents filed in recent weeks frame the state’s defense of problems associated with the Interstate Crosscheck System, a controversial weapon in Kobach’s crusade to snuff out supposed voter fraud.

The American Civil Liberties Union filed a class action lawsuit in June to challenge Kobach’s handling of the system, which Kansas has used since 2005 to compare names and birth dates for voters in states willing to swap records. Under Kobach’s leadership, the secretary of state’s office sent a list of 945 potential double registrants to officials in Florida in 2013.

The unsecured email contained a spreadsheet of voter information, including partial Social Security numbers. Florida officials then released the data last year in response to an open records request from a Kansas resident.

Armed with references to U.S. Supreme Court opinions, the attorney general’s office — which is tasked with defending state agencies from litigation — argues the high court “has never held that there is a constitutional right to prevent government disclosure of private information.”

  2 Responses to “Kansas AG’s office: No right to privacy for voter data”

  1. Most countries have a national voter DB. The USA doesn’t so states should share records to ensure duplicate votes aren’t cast in different jurisdictions.

    But since my voter information was published (absentee voter in Georgia) in a huge XLSX spreadsheet, this is the law in Georgia, I might have chosen NOT to vote absentee just to avoid having my fairly unique name made available to anyone in the world for free. I didn’t provide a reason for voting absentee, but others did – ELDERLY, HANDICAPPED, BLIND are examples.
    There are competing public needs around the release and sharing of voter data.
    Individuals would rather NOT have their data made public, certainly not that they are old or weak or blind. Crooks love having that data. I voted absentee just because I hate standing in lines and wanted to carefully consider all the candidates and other questions that show up without any prior announcement on the ballot.
    The State has a need to prevent voting fraud, so sharing data between state governments seems reasonable, provided they all agree not to publish it.
    Political organizations have a desire to see who votes and which primary they vote in for targeted contact. In Georgia, the primary (D/R) that you vote in is not private data. A few years ago, I pulled the available voting data for $0 off the SoS website. Since then, they’ve started charging for that data. I don’t remember the cost, but $50/county or $250 for the entire state seems like the amount. It is enough to keep people like me from grabbing it, but not enough to prevent a crook from getting it. Of course, there’s a checkbox that says I have to use the data only for political or research purposes. Certainly, nobody in sales would get that data for any other reason and they certainly wouldn’t make a DB and sell it to others.
    There are good reasons for much of the data to be release in the interest of our republic. Though I’d rather NOT have my name tagged with the party I might vote for released publicly.
    OTOH, if you are a property owner, your name is on all those records and available through a web interface in most places for free. Should that data be private?

  2. You can thank 9/11, the Patriot Act and the FISA Court for making sure our privacy is not protected.

    If people want things to change they should start publishing, Judges, DA and first responder personal information on blogs and websites. Oh yeah I forgot they don’t publish those, but they do publish their relatives information.

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