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Where I Stand Data privacy and voters

November 9, 2018

Without your direct consent, the state of Connecticut is selling your voter registration data. According to the Office of the Secretary of State, Connecticut is allowed under The Freedom of Information Act of 1974, to make public voter registration records. The Help America Vote Act of 2000 forced towns across Connecticut to abandon their local voting registration procedures and instead conform to state requirements that centralize voter data in Hartford. In combination, these two mandates have stripped registered Connecticut voters of their data privacy in exchange for their right to vote.

Your full name, address, phone number, birth date, and political affiliation along with your voting history are captured, stored, then sold and made available through online search engines and websites. Google and Facebook have come under public and Congressional scrutiny for selling user data without explicit consent. Shouldn’t local and state government be held to equal standards?

Unfortunately, in the state of Connecticut, a ballot referendum to stop this abuse of personal data is not an option. Residents must depend on local politicians to push for change. Nearly impossible, as politicians are the very people who benefit most from easy access to voter information when targeting their campaigns.

No American citizen should be threatened, bullied, harassed, or victimized because their personal data has become public record. Registered Nutmeg voters can be shut out of job opportunities or discriminated against due to their political affiliation or age made public through this violation of privacy.

In the words of Apple CEO Tim Cook, “Our own information, from the everyday to the deeply personal, is being weaponized against us with military efficiency.” Contact your state Representative today to stop the state of Connecticut from selling your data without your consent. It’s time to reclaim our privacy rights.

Hillary Long

Fairfield

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