Call Now: Bill Threatening Right To Vote On Utah Governor’s Desk

UPDATE: Due to the pandemic, Governor Herbert says he’s super worried about legislation with a financial impact but was perfectly fine signing the bill to disenfranchise voters who have personal data/safety concerns which will also have a financial impact (bill has a fiscal note) on taxpayers as we get to pay for the bill’s implementation. Not really surprising, he’s always catered to the GOPe. You’re not his constituent, political and corporate elites are (this article provides a good example of where loyalty lies related to the border wall but beware it has some salty language).

SB83 – Voter Registration Information Amendments which I have tracked is on the Governor’s desk. Details on how bad this bill is can be found here.

The bill will deny you the right to vote unless you agree that your information is shared with the Republican and Democratic parties (even if you are not affiliated with them) along with their candidates (including those convicted of serious crimes), political consultants, and  non-background checked volunteers. These third parties and legislators have decided they’re entitled to your information. Either you hand it over or you do not vote. Period.

In our world where personal data is considered currency, it’s a new poll tax.

This is your last chance to stop this. Contact Governor Herbert at 801-538-1000 and firmly request that he veto this very swampy, self-serving and seemingly unconstitutional bill which can put your personal security (particularly young women) at risk.

Hypocritical Utah Republican, Democrat Parties And Legislature To All Voters: You’re Right To Vote Is Denied…Unless You Pay Us With Your Personal Information (UPDATES)

It’s the nouveau poll tax laid on citizens by the Utah swamp.

Personal information to mine and exploit is the the modern day currency. The Republican and Democrat parties, paid consultants (lobbyists) are looking to collect and you are the dollar signs in their eyes.

The Utah Senate unanimously passed SB83 “Voter Registration Information Amendments” which revokes the ability of all new voters (including teens who pre-register when they get their driver license) to keep their information private and requires them to involuntarily disclose personal information to the big two political parties. That applies to every voter, regardless of which party you affiliate yourself with or if you’re unaffiliated – they don’t care, they’re taking your information.

But there’s more: they will take your information and share it with their connected friends such as consultants, volunteers and other “third parties”.

But they’re not done yet: There are, of course, exemptions. Elites and the politically connected get to keep their information private, they only want the riffraff’s information to exploit…even if that might endanger them should some felon volunteers get the list or why not a felon candidate (spoiler alert: he ran but was knocked out in convention). (Bonus: see update below)

Here’s the putrid hypocrisy: A bunch of state senators threw a fit when they found out that the UofU was getting personal information for medical studies (and I support them in reigning the UofU in). These same guys/gals then don’t think it a problem at all when they do the same thing and take your information under threat of your right to vote…so long as it benefits them and their self-serving “research”.

The hypocrisy is bad enough for the Democrats but stinks worse for the Republicans. See, they purport to favor small government and don’t like entitlement. Unless it benefits them to something they’ve decided they’re “entitled” to. Unlike private businesses (and most researchers) who are expected to take the make the case for your cooperation and ask for your information (and protect it), these guys are entitled to take and share it around.

Really it’s worse than just taking and sharing. They do it by telling you that you will be prohibited from registering to vote if you don’t cough it up.

They don’t serve you, they serve the party, they serve themselves and their special friends. The bill is nothing more than bipartisan swamp dreck.

I highly recommend you contact your Utah House Representative and strongly urge them to put citizens and voter rights ahead of party avarice and oppose SB83. Furthermore, I would call both state Republican HQ (801-533-9777) and Democrat HQ (801-328-1212) and let them know you thoughts about holding your vote hostage. I would also certainly withhold any donations and volunteer work for them.

UPDATE: This year an individual convicted of sexual battery* is running on the Republican ticket. If this bill passes, your, your wife’s and teenage duaghter’s information will be shared with any number of candidates, contractors and volunteers** some with criminal histories that include sexual or other violent crimes.
*Note: The individual may have been set-up (it’s a cloudy conviction) but this demonstrates that a criminal conviction will not preclude access to the voter list.
**These all fall under the definition of “candidate for public office” in the bill.

UPDATE II: Just to pour some more salt into the wound: The bill now has a fiscal note for $28,200. So taxpayers and voters now also get to pay for the Republican/Democrat/Swam Consultants to hold your vote hostage to grabbing your personal info.

UPDATE III: Heading to the Governor Herbert’s desk. Call 801-538-1000 and ask him to veto this awful bill that institutes a modern day poll tax.
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Addendum: Don’t be fooled by kabuki Senators like Todd Weiler who voted against the bill in committee but then voted for it on the floor when it mattered.

Also don’t be fooled if they say that bill has been adjusted to allow opt-out from political parties, it’s a half truth: it only applies to a few, select people (like “elected officials”) and victims of dating or domestic violence (who have to bring back the memories of their cases as they are required to provide proof thereof or, if they can’t bear to do so, can just not register and not vote).

You should also consider doing this while you still can: How To Make Your Utah Voter Registration Information Private

Utah Legislature, U Of U Still Behind Times On Respect Of Citizen Privacy; Make Small Positive Step

Last year, it was discovered that the State of Utah is sharing incredibly sensitive personal information of Utah Driver’s License holders with the UofU Hunstman Cancer Institute. In effect, the State has made your ability to drive contingent on involuntarily participating in a medical study.

Last year, some Republican legislators (I think one was Hillyard) justified the action because ‘it was for the greater good’. I guess we’re all socialists now.

Now, we should begin by thanking the legislators who supported this year’s HB183 Driver License Record Amendments from the beginning (definitely its sponsor, Rep. Karianne Lisonbee). After changes pushed by the powerful UofU-Huntsman Institute and their lobbyists, the bill was severely watered down and makes it difficult for people to secure their personal information. Nevertheless, the bill does does recognize the right of Utahns to exercise at least some control over the information it is forced to give the state and it takes a small step toward letting individuals remove themselves from a study they never acquiesced to be part of.

It is unfortunate that the bill was amended to result in an onerous process for information removal but something is better than nothing. As it currently stands, you would have to fill out a form and personally deliver it to a DMV office (including waiting in DMV lines). Even with that, it isn’t a done deal. The bill needs to pass the Utah State House and Senate and be signed by the Governor. Contact your state legislator and ask them to support it (it’s better than the status quo).

Ultimately, this medical research really should be an opt-in, not opt-out. All other studies I’ve been involved in demonstrated their importance for participation, provided clear information on data use/safety and ultimately respected an individual’s personal choice. The UofU and Huntsman Cancer Institute should be expected to do the same.

Honestly, the Utah legislature, University of Utah and Hunstman Institute are out of touch with the new reality in their incredible disrespect of personal privacy and freedom of choice. People are fed up with the invasive use of their personal information and sense of entitled data-mining invasion of privacy by big tech. A good example is right on the Deseret News’ website. If you scroll to the bottom of their homepage and click the “Don’t sell my info” link, you’ll come to a page with drop-downs. Select “I am a California resident and I have a personal information request” and look at the data control options listed in the drop-down below that. People have rejected their data being viewed as a commodity to be exploited and any large organization’s behest.

A sizable portion of the Utah Legislature along with the University of Utah and Huntsman Cancer Institute are living in the past. This type of exploitation and use of personal identifying information without prior consent is simply no longer acceptable. It needs to stop.

UPDATE: Two articles on this topic. The second has specifics on the data being handed out and cross-linked without your consent:
Compromise allows Utahns to stop Driver License Division from sharing their personal info — but opting out will be cumbersome
Ronald Mortensen: Driver license information of millions of Utahns given to the University of Utah

Utah Republican And Democrat Parties Demand You Give Away Your Personal Information If You Want to Vote

Prior to 2018,  the personal identifying information of ever Utah voter, including yours, was sold by the Lt. Governors office to political parties and consultants, to voterrecords.com, and to anyone else with $1,050. The political parties use the information to contact you but they also give the information to thousands of campaign workers, pollsters, consultants and to those compiling and maintaining political databases  Voterrecords.com posts the information to the web in a format that lets users track you down, obtain a map to your home, find your neighbors and even access other family members records. It also allows people who wish to do harm to others find them.

Finally, in 2018 a bill was passed that allows voters to make their records private so they can only be used by election officials for official purposes. Once private, your records are no longer sold. In spite of the fact that this change was not widely publicized, 14% of voters have now made their records private–97,000 in Salt Lake County alone.

This, however, didn’t sit well with the Democrat and Republican parties, their agents and their independent contractors because these people see you as a resource to exploit and they are convinced everyone owes them their private information. While businesses have to use various means to get your information, these political consultants and major parties prefer to use the law and force you to cough up your information…at the penalty of losing your right to vote.

Enter Senator Jake Anderegg. He’s come up with SB83 Voter Registration Information Amendments. It will wipe out all private records and open them up for exploitation by Republican and Democrat parties and the consultant/lobbyist class. They can then spread the information out to their buddies and so forth. Worse, it also wipes out the private records of people with protective orders, police officers, members of the military, teenagers and others with security concerns or who just wish to keep their records off of voterrecords.com. Under SB83, individuals who have make their records private will have their records made public unless they plead their case to the county based on the restrictive rules enacted at the behest of the political consultants and the Democrat and GOP parties. That or they can just not bother voting any longer and cancel their voter registration.

Because big political parties and their consultant cronies believe they are entitled to your information that entitlement trumps your right to vote. It’s the nouveau poll tax – Want to vote? Pay the swamp with your personal data to do with as we please.

For now, set your personal voter information as a private record – Here’s how, it’s quick and easy. At least it will keep your information safe until the bill passes. Then contact your Senator and ask them to oppose this bad bill so your information will remain private.

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For all posts on this topic, click here. Also, be aware that these are not the only groups abusing your personal information and have an entitled attitude – The UofU takes your personal information via the Driver License Division without asking your permission too.

Utah Politicians, Lobbyist Groups Put On Kabuki Show Over Driver License Data Exploitation (Updates)

Apparently politicians and some political groups are shocked, shocked, I say!

Utah DPS disputes driver’s license pics used in facial recognition mining, but lawmakers may hold hearings

This is rich. These are the same politicians who voted for sharing the driver’s license database with their cronies (see here too) and fought for increasing access for this and voter records (see here and here for example).

Available Jones Herbert and his Lt Governer Spencer Cox (Available Junior?) who’s in charge of voter records, by the way, can shove their whining where the sun don’t shine. They were mucho happy knowingly passing on your data well beyond the scope of core government functions.

Politicians and the other carping cohorts like the media, ACLU and Libertas either voted for or refused to join efforts to respect privacy and restrict the wholesale disclosure of various personal information.

The ACLU has the nerve to say “We plan to investigate how this breach of trust occurred and the steps Utah lawmakers need to take to protect the privacy of all Utahns from this widespread, open-ended surveillance program…”.

Oh really? Where were you last session when this was being voted on? Oh, right. You were too busy preparing a fund raising press release on some other unexpectedly unexpected outrage to siphon some dinero off the rubes.

Rather than carving out goodies for your cloistered buddies and yourselves, maybe next time you’ll think of the rest of us as people instead of a data resource to exploit (although Facebook would be proud!).

For the rest of us shlubs, there’s not much you can do on the driver license data but you can lock down your voter information: How To Make Your Utah Voter Registration Information Private

Ending on the positive, our political betters just earned the Captain Louis Renault award:

UPDATE: I read a few more articles on this issue. I noticed something I initially missed. It appears that the upset politcians and groups are most perturbed by ICE using the database. Interestingly, ICE may have the greatest justification for using it and we have swampy Curt Bramble to thank for it. See years ago, Bramble pushed through the Driver Privilege Card (DPC) to further Utah’s position as a defacto sanctuary state (also pleasing the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce). The DPC is only available to illegal immigrants (citizens and legal immigrants may only get a driver license). Thus, Bramble and his DPC inadvertently created a mechanism for ICE to have probable cause of a crime (illegal immigration at a minimum and likely employment-related identity theft and the other frauds/crimes that goes along with it) which could save law enforcement lives.

The ACLU also mentions the DPC in their whining. I have a feeling a lot of these politicians and organizations are more upset that their sanctuary vehicle* is being used than they care about citizen’s privacy given their tacit or overt approval of reckless personal data disclosure.

*Pun intended.

UPDATE II: The Salt Lake Tribune put up an official editorial decrying the privacy breech (and throwing in some divisive, race-baiting pap along the way). Huh. That’s funny, the Utah media (Tribune included) were all opposed to locking up voters’ personal information when that legislation was being pursued and didn’t give a rip about the Driver’s License data sharing bill when it was brought to their attention. But we should totes take their outrage seriously…That’s some nice kabuki outrage you have there.

How To Make Your Utah Voter Registration Information Private

As I’ve explained in the past, the state of Utah and Utah’s county clerks are required by law to sell the personal information of more than 1.5 million registered voters for $1,050—voter identification number; first, middle, and last name; voter status (active or inactive); absentee status; original registration date; party affiliation; phone number (if provided by voter); mailing and residence address, voter participation history; and method of participation (absentee, by mail, normal, etc.).  Of course, some of the elites, such as the governor have managed to have their personal information protected.

If that weren’t bad enough, certain entities including political parties, or an agent, employee, or independent contractor of a political party, candidates for office, financial institutions, health care providers, researchers and insurance companies are authorized to purchase the month and year of birth of registered voters along with all of their other personal information.

Once purchasers have the voters’ information, they can do whatever they want with it including tracking down the victims of domestic violence who may have changed their addresses, accessing teenagers’ private information or even posting the entire list, less the month and year of birth, to the Internet.  In fact, the personal information of roughly 1.8 million Utah registered voters can already be found on voterrecords.com.

2018 legislature finally made it possible for registered voters to protect their personal information.

For over five years, my father worked with Representative Becky Edwards (R), who unsuccessfully ran bill after bill designed to protect voters’ personal information.  Their efforts were always stymied by the state’s two major political parties and powerful business interests who insisted that if voters wanted to exercise their right to vote, they had to give them their personal information.

Finally, in 2018, two election related bills, SB74 and HB218 were passed with provisions making it possible for Utah voters to request that their voter registration records be made private.  Both bills passed the House and the Senate unanimously and were signed by the governor.

In addition to Representative Edwards, the following legislators played a key role in making it possible for Utah voters to exercise both their right to vote and their right to privacy:  Senator Karen Mayne (D), Senator Deidre Henderson (R), Representative Rebecca Chavez-Houck (D), Representative Sue Duckworth (D), Representative Karianne Lisonbee (R), and Representative Norm Thurston (R).

Salt Lake County Clerk, Sherrie Swensen (D) also worked diligently to give voters the right to make their voter registration a private record.

So, how do I make my voter registration record private?

If you are NOT already registered to vote, go to the state website and register to vote. When asked “Would you like to make your record private,” click on “Yes.”

If you are already registered to vote go to the state website, update your voter registration information and make your record private by clicking on “Yes.”

If you are completing a paper form to register to vote, when asked on the form “Would you like to make your record private, check “Yes.”

How do I remove my records that were previously sold by the state from voterrecords.com?

According to voterrecords.com:

We respect your privacy and have a simple way for those wishing to remove some of their public records data from appearing on VoterRecords.com.

Step 1: Search for a person [by clicking here and then entering your info in the Search Filters on the left.]

Step 2: Click on the person’s name in the search results, this will take you to the individual’s detailed record page.

Step 3: Scroll to the very bottom of the page and click the Record Opt-Out link. This will take you to the opt-out form specific to that record.

Step 4: Once the form is submitted we will send you an email with a verification link that you will need to click to verify your opt-out request. (Not everyone will receive the verification email. If you do not receive the email this typically means your record was successfully processed without additional verification being needed.)

Once you have done this, data such as: house number, phone, and email address should no longer appear. Make sure to refresh the page and clear your browser cache if you are still seeing the data after you have completed these steps.

Please remember that all voter records appearing on VoterRecords.com are public record and can be obtained directly from the government by anyone at anytime. Removing information from VoterRecords.com has no effect on the official records the government maintains and releases.  [Therefore, unless you make your voter record private, the state will sell it to voterrecords.com and voterrecords.com may add it to their list even if you have previously removed it.]

So, that’s it.  Take five minutes now and protect your personal information.  And, pass the word on to your family and friends.  After all, if the state won’t do its job and protect our information, then we will have to do it ourselves.  At least, we can now vote without being forced to let the state sell our personal information to the world, political operatives and a bunch of businesses and health care providers.

Note: This post was co-written with Ron Mortensen (hey, there’s a first time for everything).

Huntsman Cancer Institute Teams With Government To Grab Your Personal Voter Information For Their Research

The Huntsman Cancer Institute has decided to dabble in cronyism with a side of legal plunder in the form of your personal data from voter registration. They’ve decided that they should have your personal voter information to use in their research whether you like it or not.

SB 74 (S2) “Voter Privacy Amendments” will give the organization full access to your records. Click the link and look at lines 247-306 (section 5 of SB74). This isn’t some gesture from the legislature either, the University of Utah and Huntsman Cancer Institute decided they were entitled and lobbied for the favoritism. They picked a good time too since the legislature would like to play fast and loose with personal voting registration/information.

The Institute has done some super work and they may have good intents (hopefully) but that doesn’t cut it. Registering to vote should not be contingent on giving out you information to anyone/everyone who kisses up to a politician for a favor, particularly when their use doesn’t vaguely involve the voting or election verification at all. Further, I don’t know why they think their entitled to this. Cancer research is important but that doesn’t mean they too shouldn’t be expected to politely ask your permission to use your personal data in their program(s).

All other well intended researchers and businesses are expected to get your permission to use your information. The politically connected should be no exception. Enough with the cronyism.

Please contact your Representative/Senator and ask them to oppose the carve out for the Huntsman Cancer Institute (also consider calling the institute to let them know this is inappropriate).