Utah’s Voter Roll Disclosure Open To James O’Keefe, Project Veritas Operation On Voter Fraud

Based on what I watched and read regarding James O’Keefe’s operation in North Carolina this year, he could use similar methodology to target Utah’s elections (frankly made much easier with our ridiculous vote by mail only program).

Essentially, thanks to Utah’s past and continued distribution of the voter list (albeit now just to politician’s pet groups/projects) via the Lieutenant Governor’s Office, O’Keefe would have what he needs to run a similar sting here: voter name, address, age, phone and vote history.  In North Carolina, he used the voting history to identify inactive voters (I think he looked for those who had not voted in the last three elections).  The only hope would be a poll worker to ask for ID, which I understand is not a strict requirement in Utah (again, even easier with mail-in only voting).

Hopefully, we clean our voter rolls and identify voters who have moved and those attempting to illegally vote (like non-citizens…again in North Carolina).  I would prefer that we just take the simple steps to respect that citizens’ right to vote is not beholden to political favored industries’ desire for marketing or data-mining information and prevent easy methods of voter fraud.  Let’s not be embarrassed like North Carolina, please.

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Davis County Veterans, Active Duty, Others: Make Your Voter Records Private

I’ve written about Utah’s roughshod dispensing of the voter list and the security compromise voters are forced to choose in order to simply exercise their right to vote.  Some things improved very slightly but much work remains on the issue.

Fortunately, after contacting the Davis County Clerk’s office to discuss the changes to the law, it appears that they are ready and willing to help those with any reasonable security risk to mark their records private so not everyone an their dog has access to their personal information and voting history.

For the military and those in government, it should be easily to qualify and include their family members as Daesh (the accurate name for ISIS) continues to threaten attacks on US soil specifically targeting the aforementioned groups.  If you live in Davis County, I highly encourage you to contact the clerk’s office and see if you qualify.  They are ready and willing to help (I was impressed by their courtesy, candor, and professionalism when I called to gather information – kudos to the Clerk and his staff!).

If you live in another county, I would still contact your clerk’s office to gather this information.  It serves a twofold pupose – easily protect your identity and you and your family’s safety.

Better Late Than Never: Conclusion On 2014’s Voter List Battle

Life became hectic…well, more hectic than normal…and I failed to find the time to get a final update on this year’s legislative outcome for Utah voters’ personal information protection (click here for background posts).  Truthfully, I still have scant time but have a link article that sums up the political carve outs and slight improvement made when the bill did pass.  It’s a baby step forward and some political cronies are still being rewarded:

Payday lenders get voters’ birth dates; voter safety in Lt. Governor’s hands

The article covers last minute malarkey and partial protection for certain individuals afforded by the passed bill (the majority still must cough up information to the politically anointed to use as they see fit).

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.