Lawmakers Consider Protecting Voter Registration Emails

(KCPW News) County clerks are asking the legislature to allow them to hold on to voter email addresses, but keep them private, in an effort to have more online correspondence and cut down on the cost of mailing and postage. Many voters won’t list an e-mail address, because like physical addresses and phone numbers, they are currently made public. Scott Hogensen with the County Clerks Legislative Policy Committee says it’s to help preserve the usefulness of online voter registration, which requires an email address to sign up.  He says voters are likely turned off from that concept if means receiving more spam in their inboxes.

“We want to have this system be as used as much as possible” Hogensen says, “have people to be able to go and do that with the surety of knowledge that they are not going to be besieged by everybody running for every political office or that they may be bothered by some other vendor that may have bought the data from the state.”

Many lawmakers suggested making it an option for those registering to vote.

Representative Julie Fisher says voters could check a box that that would make that address private.

“Truthfully, everything about everyone is out there, and so the idea of protecting your email is kind of absurd.” She says. “But nonetheless, it is good that we want people to have faith in the government and the process that we’re using, so I agree that that should be an option.”

The legislature reviews recommended changes to state and local election law every year.