If you haven’t done a Google search on yourself lately, you might want to run one now. Some psychotic former legislator from New Hampshire has taken it upon himself to publish the records of every voter in the country. The information has always been public record, but now people don’t even have to search for it.
No More Privacy
So why should you care? For a couple reasons. One, the website lists much more than just your name, going so far as to publish address information going back years, telephone numbers, in some cases email addresses, and even how you voted. No, it’s not a replica of your ballot, but it shows your party affiliation for each election, and whether or not you actually chose to cast a vote at all.
Next, some people are now using this data against others and/or for nefarious purposes. Now there are reports that neighbors are checking out neighbors and starting arguments if they find out the family next door votes against their political beliefs.
Some employers are checking the sites to see if their workers or potential hires are exercising their civic duty. In the case of a job seeker, and I would really hope this isn’t the case, but in such a divisive election as this, I wouldn’t put it past an employer to disregard a job seeker who didn’t share the same political views.
And the worst part is, there’s basically nothing you can do to prevent this information from being public. The site owner does supply a hidden “opt out” form, but there’s still no guarantee that your information won’t be indexed by the search engines, and it will still be accessible to anyone who wants to take the small extra step to search the public record.
Damned One Way…
As of now, the only way to ensure you’re completely unlisted in this regard is to un-register with the elections office and never vote again. I don’t know about you, but that’s not an acceptable option.
So, we’re back to doing a simple Google search on yourself and really checking out the results. Alternatively, you may want to go directly to the source website. Most of the sites follow the format of XXvoters.com, where the “XX” is the state postal abbreviation. Good luck.
by Lina Saldarriaga