GEORGIA (WFXG) - Social media blew up with claims that voter information was compromised on Wednesday, Nov. 7, after some voters found a link to a spreadsheet including absentee voter information on the Secretary of State’s website. That spreadsheet included information such as the voter’s county, voter registration number, full name, address, ballot status, issue/return date and some had the specific reason that voter got an absentee ballot. Since there was so much concern over finding that information readily available online, FOX 54 did some digging. After talking to election officials and reading the law, it was made clean that all of this information is public record.
Lynn Bailey, Executive Director for the Richmond County Board of Elections, said, “Any activity that we have with the voter, whether it’s the fact that they voted on a particular day, which parties primary they voted in, whether or not they received an absentee ballot, when we mailed it out or when we got it back; all of that information is public record.” According to the law, “the list of electors maintained by the Secretary of State shall be available for public inspection.” However, not all of your information is put out there. Bailey added, “The data that we don’t release is their driver’s license number, their social security number, their month and day of birth, their email address and we also don’t release where that person registered to vote.”
FOX 54 reporter Lex Juarez spoke with many people around town today, and only had two tell her they were aware that it was public information. Bailey says some voters know because they get so much political mail around elections. She said, “Those databases, most of the time, come from voter registration databases that are obtained throughout the state. It’s nothing new, but it’s certainly been a prevalent thing the past couple of days.”
A copy of the code is below.