The Hill: On voter privacy, we’ve taken one step forward and two steps back (In the News)

The Hill: On voter privacy, we’ve taken one step forward and two steps back

By Alex Cordell

The recent controversy over a White House commission request for voter data shows many state officials support protecting the privacy of this information. However, too many states also favor new ways to violate the privacy of supporters of charities, advocacy groups, and trade associations by requiring these groups to reveal information about the names, home addresses, employers, and donation amounts of their members…

New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver said she would “never release the personally identifiable information of New Mexico voters” and claimed she would continue “protecting the voting rights and personal privacy of our voters.”…

In New Mexico, Secretary of State Toulouse Oliver has proposed a new rule invading the privacy of supporters of groups, including charities. She wants to publicly reveal the names and home addresses of supporters of such groups for merely mentioning candidates or even publishing nonpartisan information…

It is encouraging that so many states are asserting the need to protect voter privacy from government overreach. However, we should not forget that individual privacy rights are violated every day by overreaching, poorly-written campaign finance laws.