Orlando Sentinel by Gray Rohrer
July 20, 2017
The Trump administration’s push to get voters’ personal information from states is on hold for now, but the battle over electoral laws and rules is just beginning and still sowing confusion among some voters.
Michael Ertel, Seminole County’s supervisor of elections, said requests by voters to unregister to avoid having their information culled by the federal government have gone down, after the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, a panel set up by President Donald Trump, asked states to hold off on sending voters’ data pending a lawsuit in Washington, D.C.
Even so, Ertel has set up a website to tell voters what information is public and what could be shared by the state. Social Security numbers and drivers’ license numbers? No, those are protected. For whom you voted? No, that won’t be given out.
But the state has agreed to give voters’ names, addresses, whether they voted in elections going back to 2006, citizenship status, military status and political party affiliation. That information, however, is being held until the Washington lawsuit, filed by the Electronic Privacy Information Center, is resolved.
In addition, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit against the move in a federal Miami court earlier this month.
Even if the data are given out, unregistering won’t protect voters’ information. The Florida Department of State will give out data based on June 30 voter rolls, so if a person is registered then, their information is already in the system.
Some voters, though, remain jittery about having their personal data collected by the federal government. [READ MORE]