Protect email addresses but not birth dates?

The Senate gave preliminary approval Tuesday to a bill that would close public access to email addresses that are part of voter registration records.
Sen. Margaret Dayton, R-Orem, said emails became part of the record when members of the military were allowed to register to vote online. SB18 would protect those records, she said. Their email addresses have been protected by previous legislation. SB18 would extend the same protections to civilians’ email addresses if they register to vote online, she said.
Two senators raised concern that while email addresses could not be available under the state Government Records Access and Management Act, there was no such protection for dates of birth.
Sen. Ralph Okerlund, R-Monroe, questioned whether SB18 goes far enough. “I’ve had a number of constituents contact me to make sure birth dates are protected,” he said.
While county clerks need proof of a voter’s age, Okerlund questioned whether the year of the voter’s birth would provide sufficient information.
Ron Mortensen, co-founder of the Utah Coalition on Illegal Immigration, said the bill may lock up email addresses but it leaves dates of birth ripe for identity theft because they remain a public record.
“Thus, the parties and legislators who refuse to protect the birth dates of registered voters are telling citizens, ‘If you want to vote, you will have to make your birth date a public record even if this increases your exposure to identity theft. If you won’t do this, you cannot vote’ ” Mortensen said.


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