Shar­ing voter data isn’t good for Amer­i­can peo­ple

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - EDITORIAL PAGE -

I am alarmed that Trump’s Kris Kobach has re­quested ev­ery voter’s in­for­ma­tion. This de­mand for such de­tails about the pop­u­la­tion is fright­en­ing in many dif­fer­ent ways. For one, it re­minds me of the book IBM and the Holo­caust, writ­ten by Ed­win Black. This book tells the his­tory of how the Nazis, dur­ing the 1930s, were able to round up so many non-Aryans in the blink-ofan-eye, be­cause IBM had set up a data­base of the Ger­man peo­ple’s var­i­ous qual­i­ties. Many of these same qual­i­ties that the Nazis com­put­er­ized, the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion is now ask­ing ev­ery state to turn over to him.

Most states have pri­vacy and se­crecy laws in re­gards to vot­ing. I don’t know if Arkansas has such a law, but the tra­di­tion of voter se­crecy is an idea that is over 1,000 years old, and was adopted fully by the coun­try’s founders. Whether Arkansas is pro­tected by such a law doesn’t lessen the fact that the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion’s re­quest has an ap­pear­ance of be­ing un­eth­i­cal.

I re­al­ize this in­for­ma­tion is be­ing sought af­ter so that voter fraud can be in­ves­ti­gated. My opin­ion on that is just let the 38 known na­tional cases of dou­ble vot­ing in the last elec­tion go. Amer­ica still has a be­low-liv­ing wage cri­sis, in­fras­truc­ture de­te­ri­o­ra­tion, cli­mate con­cerns, ex­ces­sive gun vi­o­lence, drug prob­lems, and, oh, let’s not for­get the Rus­sia hack­ing our elec­tions is­sue.

Even if much of this data is avail­able to any per­son will­ing to go and re­trieve it, the big­gest dan­ger in this list is the all-en­com­pass­ing na­ture of hav­ing ev­ery voter’s in­for­ma­tion in one lo­ca­tion. What any or­ga­ni­za­tion can do with such a list would only be lim­ited by their de­sire and cre­ativ­ity.

Fi­nally, as to up­load­ing any in­for­ma­tion to an un­se­cured In­ter­net cloud ac­count, that is clearly an id­iot’s folly. Once on­line, even on a se­cure server, ev­ery hacker with a de­sire to weaken Amer­ica will at­tack. And with Rus­sia, well, Trump will prob­a­bly just hand them the pass­word.

PIP­PIN LOWE Fayetteville

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