First, the good news. In stark contrast with former Lieutenant Governor Bell who demanded he be allowed to sell Utah voters’ information, Lt. Governor Cox has teamed with Utah’s County Clerks and penned letters to both the State House and Senate pleading to protect the information. The letters are available here (PDF): Letter to the Senate and Letter to the House.
This would come as welcome news to those who’ve fought to stop the practice as well as voters concerned with privacy and security. This includes domestic and child abuse victims, families hosting foster children, police officers, judges, LDS Church leadership, and the elderly (the list is easily sorted by age, providing an easy means for scammers to target granny and gramps).
Now the bad news. This year two bills have received good support (particularly, HB302 which passed with overwhelming support in the House). This year it appeared that voters’ sensitive information would finally get some protection. In past years similar bills have been opposed by both big political parties, the politcally-favored, and media. As such, Republican Party Chairman, James Evans, hit the panic button. I understand that during a closed lunch, he badgered State Senators into agreeing to take no action on either HB302 (Voting Records Amendments) nor the toothless/faux protection SB36. The bills are dead and the list will continue to be sold to whomever wants it.
Ironically, the online voter information makes it simple (combined with caucus attendance rule changes) to stuff the ballot box at either GOP or Dem. caucus meetings.
To sum, it appears that James Evans and the Utah Senate have decided that your right to vote may only be exercised if you divulge your personal information and voting history to their political machines, political consultants (like those who send you lame attack ads), and any individual/business or whatever that wants the voter list for whatever reason. They can ignore the potential for caucus voter fraud and are fine if you have to terminate your voter registration in order to protect your or your families security and/or privacy. But, hey, why should they worry – disenfranchised voters don’t vote, right?
Update: Please see Payday lenders get voters’ birth dates; voter safety in Lt. Governor’s hands for the conclusion of the 2014 voter protection battle.