I’ve followed the issue about voters being forced to increase their risk of identity theft as all their personal information is made publicly available. Actually, government benefits by selling the list. You have no choice in the matter – if you ask that the information be withheld, you will not be allowed to vote.
For years, attempts have been made to protect voters’ date of birth and those attempts have failed as both the Democrat and Republican parties (among other influential interest groups) lobby to have the information. This year, SB18 was amended to include date of birth protection and the Representative is still being punished for doing so and the bill immediately stalled. Utah’s Lieutenant Governor, Greg Bell, has also been fighting to remove the date of birth protection, even resorting to offensive deception.
Yesterday, by voice vote (apparently, no one wanted to go on record), date of birth protection was removed. However, one bill (HB304S1) remains that will allow a voter to opt-out of having the sensitive information released (ie it is released by default unless you request otherwise). Now, Lt. Governor Bell, as I understand it, manages to affix a fiscal note to the bill high enough to lower its priority in passage. This clearly indicates his intent to placate special interests and exposes him in firm opposition to allowing you to protect your information. Even the thought of an opt-out is simply too much to bear. Effectively, he and legislators are attempting to continue the long tradition of holding your voting right hostage to being able to sell your information.
Immediately contact your Representative and Senator and politely, but firmly, request that they support HB304S1 with no further amendment.
***Special Note: Another very serious issue was raised regarding these records: Victims of abuse (especially with restraining orders) and stalking victims must also disclose their personal information in order to vote. This raises a personal safety concern for those individuals. This problem came up too late to address but absolutely must be remedied by the next session.***