Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Concerns remain over bill to protect voter info
First Published Feb 24 2014 02:49 pm • Last Updated Feb 24 2014 06:00 pm

A House committee approved a bill seeking to protect Utahns’ voter information, even though several representatives expressed reservations about loopholes in the law and whether the bill goes far enough.

The bill, SB36s3, sponsored by Sen. Karen Mayne, D-West Valley City, comes in response to a New Hampshire man who posted the searchable voter registration database online.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

Mayne’s bill would prevent releasing the voter database and using it for commercial purposes. But it has exemptions that let academic researchers, polling firms, journalists, and political parties get access to the database, which caused heartburn for some House members.

An amendment was also added to let financial institutions get access to the database to help with identity verificaiton.

"Where specifically in this bill is there any protection?" asked Rep. John Mathis, R-Vernal. "Almost anything we do could be classified as political, scholarly or journalistic in one way or another."

Mayne acknowledged that many don’t think the bill goes far enough, but said her measure is a compromise with the parties and media representatives and avoids First Amendment conflicts.

Ron Mortensen, a conservative activist who has pushed to protect the information, said Mayne’s bill is a "thinly veiled attempt to make voters think the Legislature has taken strong steps to protect them." In reality, he said, voters will still have to choose between a right to vote and a right to privacy.

He supports an alternative bill, sponsored by Rep. Becky Edwards, R-North Salt Lake, that would only allow release of voter information if the voter affirmatively agrees to have the data made public.

That bill, HB302s1, is awaiting a vote in the House. Mayne’s bill, which made it out of committee on an 8-1 vote, despite the concerns, now goes to the House for a vote, as well.




Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Login to the Electronic Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.