and individuals — including media outlets, marketing firms and both major political parties obtained the data in 2016 alone, according to the secretary of state’s office.
Colorado’s not unusual in making this information public. The amount of data that’s available varies from state to state, but voter records are widely considered public for a simple reason: to make sure elections are conducted honestly.
“Without voter registration and vote history being public,” Boulder County Clerk Hillary Hall wrote in an op-ed for the Daily Cam- era, “it would simply have to be a ‘trust us’ scenario with your state or local elected official maintaining the voter rolls with no external oversight.”
Jeff Roberts, the executive director of the Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition, notes that much of the information, such as a voter’s address, has been publicly available in other ways, such as property records.
“It’s been out there for a long time. Is there potential for use and misuse? Of course — with any information there is,” Roberts said. Because the data is essential to verifying elections, he added, “if (lawmakers) are going to examine this, they better have good reasons to not make it public.”