Friday, September 01, 2006

WDC Gets Answer on Voter Privacy Issue

In late July, the Democracy Campaign asked Attorney General Peggy Lautenschlager to review a state Elections Board directive to local election officials to ignore a state voter privacy law and requested an opinion from the attorney general about whether the Elections Board is at liberty to instruct election officials throughout Wisconsin to disregard the law.

We got our answer. In a letter from Alan Lee, deputy administrator of the state Justice Department's Division of Legal Services, we were informed that "the law certainly is valid and the Elections Board is not at liberty to ignore it." The letter goes on to say that the Elections Board "has indicated it will comply with the law."

Specifically, the letter from the attorney general's office says the Elections Board "will direct local election officials to cover the (voter registration) number, including the bar code, when making copies of the list." The Board also will "direct poll workers to cover the number, including the bar code, when permitting observers to view the poll list on Election day" and will "suppress the number when running reports from (the Statewide Voter Registration System) in response to open record requests."

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