VOTER

The Denver Post - - NEWS -

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.”

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