Utah Media Bias Chris Jones (KUTV) Style

Waste is always worthy of being exposed and addressed. It’s the pretentious nature and condescending attitude Jones has toward parents (i.e. ‘outsiders’) coupled with his failure to disclose conflicts of his go to “expert” and one-sided reporting that torpedoes his credibility. His bias was on full display.

Here’s a snippet from his report (“APA charter school blew nearly $500K in botched expansion plan”):

American Preparatory Academy [APA] is in the middle of a lengthy, expensive legal battle that has cost Utah taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars, all thanks to what critics suggest is poor planning and a sense of entitlement.

“It was an expensive, dubious project to undertake,” said Carol Lear of the Utah State School Board.

He goes on to go after APA’s actions but here’s what Jones left out of his report:

  • He didn’t disclose Carol Lear is a counsel attorney to Lear & Lear, LLP, a competing law firm (specializing in education law) to the one paid to represent the charter school in Jones’ report. Her firm is one which, just a few months ago, bid on a state school board contract resulting in conflict of interest concerns: “State board mulls possible conflicts after firms of 2 school board members bid on $40,000 contract“.
  • Jones didn’t disclose Lear’s apparently passionate involvement prior battle with this issue and APA which occurred and was reported on over a year ago. She certainly wasn’t one of the “board members [who] were more moderated in their communications, while still hinting at discomfort over the issue.”
  • In the televised newscast, he concluded, telling the KUTV anchors, that charter schools aren’t managed well because parents sit on the board instead of an elected politician or a professional education administrator.

Believe it or not, parents have a vested interest in the school’s operation (they pay for school and often volunteer) and their kids are directly involved and may be harmed. Meanwhile, a politician’s interest is in a career path. Of course, the media is in bed with professional political swamp, so not much of a surprise here that KUTV would want to promote the latter.

Charter schools are far, far more responsive to parents than a traditional school. I speak from experience. Obviously, not all charter schools are good (conversely, plenty of traditional schools suck too) but they are overall much more responsive and, at least, bear the consequences of their actions (decreased enrollment, funding, and eventual closure). Traditional schools generally don’t have this level of feedback. In economics, it’s been long known that the closer an individual or organization is to the funding source of their service, the better job they do – just read the section on public and private education pros and cons in Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations.

I looked through several KUTV “Beyond the Books” reports and I didn’t see such a ‘tenacious’ report on waste and poor management from the traditional public schools and I’m sure there’s plenty (some options: student data sharing, school fee abuses, Taj Mahal buildings, apparent violations of Utah code and district policy). Maybe he’ll go after them with the same zeal but I’m not counting on it.

I’m sure Jones has never found any problems with any politician’s decision…well, besides those he politically disagrees with. But he can sure run some exposé when it’s someone outside the anointed Utah political insider club like a bunch of parents on  a board…ugh that icky rabble should just stay out of the playpen.

All this begs the question given the one-sided nature of his “reports”: Who’s feeding Jones the attack information so he can act as their hired gun? At least one of his benefactors is the left-wing Alliance for a Better Utah who sicced him on School Board member Lisa Cummins and I suspect he’s happily aligned with them and/or just plain lazy and happy to regurgitate what he’s been told.

I already linked to this above, but if you really want to know what’s going on with the APA issue in a much more objective manner read this in full: Should Utah charter schools be allowed to seize private land? Maybe Jones should ask the article’s writer, Benjamin Wood, to mentor him. Otherwise, he and KUTV are always welcome to the world of blogging where he can spout his opinion rather than feigning objectivity.

Note: I’m not affiliated with APA nor at all enamored with their actions based on what I read in Wood’s actual reporting (last link above). I’m just sick of pretend journalists (“fake news”). If you’re going to advocate, fine,  just be open and explicit – don’t call yourself a journalist.

Side note for potential future reference: I stumbled on this. Apparently Carol Lear isn’t a fan of concealed carry and weapons training in schools:

“It’s a terrible idea,” said Carol Lear, a chief lawyer for the Utah Office of Education. “It’s a horrible, terrible, no-good, rotten idea.”
Utah educators say they would ban guns if they could, but legislators left them with no choice. State law forbids schools, districts or college campuses from imposing their own gun restrictions.[I believe this the opinion of the UEA]

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Lt. Gov Cox, County Clerks Ask Utah Legislature For Voter Protection, GOP Chair Evans Says Niet!

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.

Utah Voter List Protection (HB302) And Foster Parents (UPDATE – GOP Caucus Fruad Potential)

HB302 was designed to allow you to control if your information from being released. Currently, the State (thanks to the Lieutenant Governor’s office and Herbert Administration) sells all voters’ information without informing you or giving you any choice in the matter. Despite years of warnings and citizens’ (and a few legislators) unsuccessful attempts to protect the information, the entire list was posted to the internet raising concerns of identity theft and raising awareness of sale.

The awareness sent alarm bells ringing for those concerned with their personal security such as LDS leadership, judges, police officers, victims of domestic abuse, county attorneys, and now custodial parents of foster children (transcribed from March 5, 2014 KSL Radio News):

[Reporter: Mary Richards]Families that adopt from foster care are very careful to protect their information, like their home address. This Utah father adopted some children from abusive situations, those families know his name and he knows the voter information is out there already.

[Father]The problem is being created as a result of the attention this whole situation has been given.

[Reporter] He says he would like to see the bills passed that would restrict access to the voter registration records or, at least, define more a penalty. He said victims of domestic violence or other crime would have the same concerns.

I stated “HB302 was designed to allow you to control…”. The bill was watered down and now is limited to those who designate a security concern to protect their information but also carries fines and penalties if the list is released (ie buyers have to treat your information with care, unlike the current standard of absolutely zero control/accountability*).

The bill now has carve-outs for some political cronies and lobbyists (campaign consultants, political parties, the media among others). However they would have to protect the information and be accountable for disclosure.

That has disappointed me as I don’t believe anyone (except for election fraud oversight) has any entitlement to my personal and voting information. A Constitutional right shouldn’t be contingent on some favored group’s desires. However, it is a (small) step forward and still better than the pointless SB36. Please contact your Representative and Senator and ask them to only support HB302 and not water it down at all nor make it a SB36 clone.  It is imperative that they hear from you as powerful lobbyists and party insiders (see below) are out to kill the bill which has a Senate sponsor in need of a commitment intervention.

Most telling in this is the media lobbyist (Pignanelli) is still fighting the bill – they don’t seem to want any accountability with the peoples’ personal information but would crucify you in their publications for data breaches…go figure. The political parties (GOP and Dem) and lobbyists/consultants may also not be too happy with actually having to care for the information as both parties have fought tooth-and-nail to stop voter protection bill.

*Favored political groups (ie those with lobbyists and donations) can do whatever with the information, but similar personal information held by regular business must be cared for and is subject to fines. It’s cronyism pure and simple.

UPDATE:  I am now aware that another serious issue has arisen regarding the voter list going online.  I will not go into detail (for obvious reasons) but with everyone’s information online, it is now extremely easy for anyone to stuff the ballot box at GOP caucus meetings.

Utah Voter Personal Privacy And Security Begone, Courtesy Of The Herbert Administration And The Legislature

When the personal information of every registered voter in Utah was posted to the internet at utvoters.com, it caused a stir.  Now the list, which is sold (for $1050) by the Herbert Administration, is also available at a new site.  Better yet, unlike utvoters.com, the new site does not have a mechanism to remove your personal voting information (including date of birth).  The site is also easier to search for individuals or other defining characteristics.

Want to know and LDS leader’s political affiliation and home address?  Go for it.  Want to get a police officer’s address or a judge’s address and personal information?  Too easy.  Hey, want to get their voting family’s information?  No worries.  How about, the new address of that domestic abuse victim with a restraining order…or the adoptive parents of the child you gave up…or a child abuse victim…etc, etc, etc.

The fact of the matter is, the website is not to blame.  They posted information that the Herbert (and Huntsman) administration sells.  They’ve been warned about this for years and erstwhile Lt. Governor Bell fought hard to keep the cash a-comin’ (while removing his and Herbert’s information).  Political parties (GOP and Democrat) along with political campaign consultants and media allies have also fought to ensure your right to vote is subordinate to their activities.  In Utah, your choice is to relinquish your right to vote or give these cronies all your information.  Now, pols like Senator Karen Mayne are “shocked…shocked!” that the information is online.

Mayne’s kabuki response was to draft a bill that has contains juicy exceptions for the aforementioned cronies that ultimately would virtually ensure your information would still end up online.  Fortunately, Representatives Edwards and Perry take this seriously and have a bill (HB302) that allows you to opt out of having your personal and voting information spread around.  You’ll never guess which bill the political insiders are trying to kill (and Senators are poised to accommodate).  You need to put pressure on legislators to protect your right to vote.  Please contact your Senator and Representative.  Ask them to support HB302 (Voting Records Amendments) and allow you to opt out of the information peddling.

Hot ‘N Cold Award: Senator Valentine’s Dance On Utah Voter, Domestic Violence Victim Protection

Last week, I gave the ‘hokey pokey award’ to Senator Bramble on HB116. Senator Valentine earns the Hot ‘N Cold Award this week.

On Friday, Valentine dropped his sponsorship of HB302 which would allow you to keep you personal information and voting history private and off the internet for all to see. This divulged information includes that of domestic violence victims who have security concerns as well as LDS Church officials, police officers, judges, and their families.

The bill sounds like a no-brainer, right? It should be but political parties (Republican and Democrat), political consultants, Lexis-Nexis, and the media decided they’re entitled to your personal information and that entitlement trumps your right to vote. The forced disclosure has also been facilitated by past and current Lieutenant Governors (and the Herbert/Huntsman administrations). They’ve fought tooth-and-nail to make your right to vote contingent on their “entitlement”.

Valentine got a case of cold feet and caved into political party pressure on Friday. Later that day, he hokey-pokeyed and decided to sponsor it again. The question is why?

My guess is the parties panicked when they realized someone else would sponsor the bill and told Valentine to control and change the bill to be like SB36 which does absolutely nothing and virtually guarantees the voter list will be posted to the internet again (ie tries to pull the wool over voters’ eyes). Don’t fall for the shtick. Contact Senator Valentine and politely, but firmly, ask him to sponsor the bill with no changes and contact your Senator asking them to support the HB302 as it stands (let them know you’re not fooled by SB36).

Update (3/10): Valentine was a no-show for the Senate hearing on HB302 leaving the battle to Rep. Edwards, Sen. Weiler, and citizens that managed to counter elite lobbyists’ arguments and getting the watered-down bill out of committee.  I have heard Valentine was in an important budget meeting but he also seemed not to have informed the bill’s sponsor (Edwards) that he wouldn’t show, leaving her on her own to present the bill.

Tom Alciere Chimes In On SB36 and HB302 (Utah Voter List Bills)

Mr. Alciere, on utvoters.com, has posted a set of statements that are worth reading. It is worth noting that Mr. Alciere can also see SB36’s gaping loopholes versus the actual protection/control afforded by HB302 (especially for those with security concerns, such as certain crime victims):

Special Message to the People of Utah:
The real problem with HB 302 as substituted is, the uncertainty whether lawmakers are trying to prohibit the communication of true facts already lawfully obtained from a public record, one which they insisted remain public. That needs to be fixed. While I disagree with the use of birth dates as security passwords (because you cannot be expected to keep it a secret and you cannot be given a duty to do so, unlike banking PINs and passwords or credit card numbers, which can also be changed,) my home state of New Hampshire does not include even the year of birth on the voter list. Before investing in the Utah list for what was a genealogy website, I checked that it included the full date of birth.
The House bill is better for your privacy than SB 36 as substituted. If O.J. Simpson is looking for Nicole, he can afford to get the Utah voter list “for research” and find her. The Senate bill does not remove her birth date. If there are two Nicoles born the same day and living in Utah he can compare the voting histories to Nicole’s voting history on a legacy voter list and determine which Nicole is O.J.’s ex.
Some people qualify for unlisted registrations already, but some crime victims might not wish to explain everything to a bureaucrat in front of strangers who are waiting in line. The status quo is, the crime victim must beg for mercy. Under the House bill, the crime victim is in control. That will make a big difference in how some crime victims feel. I might get more web traffic with more data, but I have the intellectual honesty to concede that the telephone company does not get to pick and choose who has a good reason to need an unlisted number. (They also don’t try to force people to stop consulting last year’s directory.)

As has been noted on this blog, SB36 effectively does nothing at all for voters’ personal information other than providing an utterly false sense of security…while keeping the politically-connected happy.

On another part of his site, Mr. Alciere is also spot on when it comes to who should be on the receiving end of blame for the release:

•Stop trying to blame a Utah political mess on a man in New Hampshire.

•They [Utah State Legislature] insisted on requiring by law that the Utah voter list be supplied to anybody who wants it. Now they see political consequences. They could have listened to Dr. Mortensen, but they made a different chess move, which they are trying to take back through censorship. They want voters to think lawmakers have stopped the spread of the information which has already been publicly released, and downloaded thousands of times…

Alciere was well within his rights to publish the list. For years, the legislature along with Huntsman and Herbert Administrations, Lieutenant Governors, political parties, political consultants, Lexis-Nexis, Utah’s Media, and other politically-connected groups have insisted your voting information be sold to whoever wanted it.

The above groups are now aligned behind SB36 to ensure their ‘entitled’ gravy train to your information keeps flowing. It’s time to ignore the ‘New Hampshire straw man’ politicians want to distract you with  and let the legislature know your right to vote is not a servant for the political-connected elites’ entitlement mentality. Please contact your legislators and ask them to reject SB36 and support HB302. Also, consider ‘liking’ the “Protecting Utah Voters” Facebook page.

Mayne’s Utah Voter Information Protection Bill: A 747-sized Loophole (Update)

Last week, I panned the disingenuous nature of SB36 and its big carve-out for preferred groups. After questions were raised by Senator Weiler, I realized that the carve-outs basically render the bill a shell-game. Voter information can/will still be posted to the internet.

The loophole is contained in lines 138-148 of the bill. Those lines give the politically-favored groups free reign to reproduce and publish information from the Utah voter list. Lines 146-148 (“…does not prohibit a person from reproducing the list of registered voters, or information obtained from the list of registered voters, for political, scholarly, journalistic, or governmental purposes.”), in particular, open a gaping loophole.

Here’s how it works:

As “political, scholarly, journalistic, or governmental purposes” are undefined by the bill, they appear open to interpretation. Here’s how I can justify posting the entire list online:

1. Political – Post the entire list online with a request for a donation to Senator Mayne’s (or XYZ Super PAC’s) campaign. Justify doing so by asking donors/volunteers to pick a few folks from the list (phone numbers included) to call for donations/votes.

2. Scholarly – Use the list to run a demographic study of how many seniors (65+) voted. Post the full list (or the list of seniors) to my site as a source document. Bonus points awarded when scammers use the senior list to better target their calls…

3. Journalistic – Run an informational blog or article on the election (maybe run a few demographics). Post the full list as a source document.

4. Governmental – This is a bit iffy but post the list so third parties (anyone on the internet) can verify that no voter fraud occurred (make sure the dead didn’t vote).

Irony of ironies

Utvoters.com which posted the list online and triggered the backlash may well be justified to do so again by reasons #1 and #2. Their current “about” page states (emphasis added):

“…this website is to give grassroots activists the voter contact information they need to solicit votes for candidates who oppose underage drinking laws.
This is a privately operated political website using a purchased copy of the Utah voter list.”

Secondly, when Utvoters.com initially published the list, their reason for doing so was to aid in genealogical research. Genealogical research is used in plenty of scholarly fields (genealogy is itself a scholarly field, after all).

For a bill touted to protect your voting information, it’s not protection; its fauxtection.

UPDATE: Here’s a real protection bill to support.  HB302 would allow voters to opt-out of having their personal and voting information put out for the world to see.  Be sure to note the domestic violence victim’s testimony and Frank Pignanelli (lobbyist for the media) demanding that you..and domestic violence victims give up the information for their perusal.  Because, dammit, we in the political and media elite are entitled to your info if you exercise your voting rights.

Pignanelli touts Mayne’s bill as protection which, per the above, is a bogus claim.  Contact both your State Rep. and Senator and politely ask they support HB302 and give you the option to secure your information when you exercise a constitutionally-protected right.

Pulling The Wool Over Voters’ Eyes: Utah Senate And Their Media Allies (UPDATE)

Yesterday, the Senate Committee voted unanimously to support SB36 (Voter Information Amendments) in an effort to protect their political pals access to your personal information.  I exposed the tactic in my January post on this issue.  Essentially they’re making your right to vote contingent on taking your information and voting record and sharing it among favored special interest groups (see the January post for details).

Better yet,if you happen to be an abuse victim and have a stalker or other individual with serious security concerns – your voter information (including address, phone, and birth date) is available on the web thanks to Governor Herbert’s administration (Lt. Governor’s office) selling the voter list.  Of course, there are exemptions – Governor Herbert was sure not to share his information nor was his former Lt. Governor, Greg Bell (both were scrubbed from the list).  However, you can find LDS Church officials, police officers, and judges’ information.  I guess the weren’t cool enough to get special treatment.  Don’t expect the media to report about any of this or the personal security implications.

The media has now joined in as an ally.  The Tribune ran an unsigned article likely sponsored by the Utah Media Coalition demanding that the only way you can vote is if you cough up your information to every Tom, Dick, and Harry who wants it.  It seems ironic that they demand the information but refuse to divulge who wrote the article (GRAMA Watch: Legislative bills draw GRAMA Watch attention):

By xxxxx xxxxxx
First Published Jan 30 2014 04:59 pm • Last Updated Jan 30 2014 04:59 pm

Evidently, some transparency is more equal than others…

So what to do:
Currently, Representative Edwards is drafting a bill that would allow you to lock up this information but expect fierce opposition from the dominant parties, the media, and other favored groups who somehow deserve your information.  As such, call and email your State Senator and Representative.  Politely but firmly ask that they reject SB36’s lip service and support Rep. Edwards’ bill.  Your fundamental right to vote should not come at the cost of your privacy.

Addendum – Here’s a snazzy list from SB36 of anointed groups who still get your personal information because you had the nerve to register to vote:

138          (d) Subsection (4)(a)(iv) does not prohibit a person from providing information
139      obtained from the list of registered voters as part of a newspaper or other journalistic
140      publication.
141          (e) Subsection (4)(a)(v) does not prohibit a person from using information obtained
142      from the list of registered voters to solicit a donation for political or governmental purposes.
143          (f) Subsection (4)(a)(vi) does not prohibit a person from using information obtained
144      from the list of registered voters to conduct a survey for political, scholarly, journalistic, or
145      governmental purposes.
146          (g) Subsection (4)(b) does not prohibit a person from reproducing the list of registered
147      voters, or information obtained from the list of registered voters, for political, scholarly,
148      journalistic, or governmental purposes.

UPDATE: KSL ran a report on how much personal information is available on the internet and the resulting personal security concerns.  The report was essentially a warning to watchers on how much information they may fail to protect and, thereby, expose themselves to criminals.  Part of their recommendations include:

Opt out of utvoters.com Last year, utvoters.com was able to purchase Utah voter information from the state government that includes birth dates, phone numbers and addresses. The information is posted online in a database easily searchable by alphabet.

The irony is that KSL is likely also part of the above media group that wants that list public available.  It is noteworthy that the report neglects to mention any of the pending legislation.  Fortunately, KSL commenters were a bit more astute (user “molympics”):

Useless information when the State of Utah can sell all your personal information to be posted on the internet, IMHO

The best advice is not to be a registered voter in Utah.

What the state did dwarfs any advice to keep your information off the Web.

Bingo!

Herbet Admin, Bramble, Media Kill Voter, Senior Citizen Identity Theft Protection

The legislative session is done.  I had tracked what should be ‘no-brainer’ legislation that would protect your date of birth from release to potential identity thieves.  It is even more critical for senior citizens who are targeted by various scams.

The voter registry sold by Lieutenant Governor Bell’s office, includes all your information. This list can then simply be sorted by date of birth for scam artists/con men to have a large, ready-made list of “marks”.  Apparently, the money is just too good and protecting voters and at-risk populations not worth Bell’s time (but offensive, disingenuous acts on the subject are).

Of course, as it turns out, money is not the only thing involved.  A good-old unscrupulous political power play is also involved (please read the linked article – it is critical).  Senator Curt Bramble wants to be Utah Senate President.  To do so, he wants to make a potential rival look bad by blocking legislation. Looks like Senator Bramble continues his Chicago-influenced underhanded political tricks in an effort to fully establish a rock-solid Bram-Hart political machine.  Heh, in this instance, it also looks like he’s not above throwing grandma under the bus.

Governor Herbert’s administration, the major political parties, and the media were also involved in blocking the legislation for their own political and power interests.

Looks like a political trifecta: money, power, and special interests.

For all posts on this matter, click here.  Posts related to Bramble can be found here.

ABC4 Identity Theft Report Highlights Utah Voter And Child Risk (Lt Gov, Legislature Inaction)

Late last week, ABC4 reported that “Identity Theft on the rise in Utah“.  A few portions caught my attention.  First:

“It’s like they know our seniors. My mother in law is 91, she has been targeted many times,” said one woman.

It may well be because they do know our seniors, and Utah government, specifically the Lieutenant Governor’s office may well be providing crucial information for the scammers to target seniors.  The Lt. Governor’s office makes the entire Utah voter registry publicly available to those willing to pay for it.  The list includes name, address, phone number and…date of birth.  With this list, all scammers need to do is filter out the elderly (using date of birth) and they have a rapidly, refined target list.

Surely, the Lt. Governor would take action?  Quite the opposite: this year a bill was amended to protect voter date of birth from release.  The Lt. Governor threw a hissy fit and including an offensive political charade. Then the Senate took revenge on the Representative who amended the bill.  Additionally, the Utah Republican and Democrat Parties also added their spin (they’ve been consistent opponents for marketing reasons).  They succeeded in getting the House to capitulate and remove the amendment.

Next, another bill will allow you to choose to make your date of birth private (HB304S1).  Yet again, as it made progress (despite Republican and Democrat Party pressure), the Lt. Governor’s office struck again, attaching a large fiscal note to the bill in an effort to kill it.  Apparently, the money from voter registry sales and Party politics take precedence over our seniors, and voters in general*.

Immediately contact your Representative and Senator and politely, but firmly, request that they support HB304S1.

On to the second point of interest:

…a new chilling trend is child identity theft…what we realize is it comes at the worst possible moment. 18 they want to go to school, all of a sudden they find out their credit it ruined,” said Kirk Torgensen, Chief Attorney at the Utah Attorney General’s Office.

I’ve tracked identity theft for years.  This year, the legislature, again, had the chance to bolster the E-Verify law to significantly prevent employment-related child identity theft.  Pressure to stop the legislation included the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce, Sutherland Institute, and the LDS Church Public Affairs.  Thus, rather than protection, they opted for deception.

*Note: The released sensitive information on voter registration increases identity theft risk for all voters.  Also be aware: 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.