As we reported last Friday, the state Justice Department responded to concerns raised by the Democracy Campaign by ruling that the state Elections Board has to comply with a voter privacy law in Wisconsin's statutes. Registration numbers assigned to each voter need to be kept confidential as election officials compile voter lists under a new computerized registration system being developed for the state by the global outsourcing firm Accenture.
Now we're finding out how the Elections Board intends to do this. Despite sinking $28 million into the new statewide voter registration system, the Board's solution to the voter privacy issue we raised is decidedly low-tech.
Poll workers are now being instructed to cover voter registration numbers when allowing observers to view voter lists on Election Day or fulfilling open records requests for the lists. Recommended ways to protect voter privacy on the computer-generated lists include covering the numbers with a ruler, a piece of paper or remnants of file folders.