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Georgia’s secretary of state posts personal details of absentee voters online (techcrunch.com)
193 points by telosin 4 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 123 comments

> “State law requires the public availability of voter lists, including names and address of registered voters,” she said in an email.

> It’s little surprise that the way Kemp’s office approached confirming absentee ballots was met with anger. “While the data may already be public, it is not publicly available in aggregate like this,”

It's interesting how so many laws are predicated on limited resources. Ie, all names and addresses of registered voters should be publicly available, because we don't think anyone has the resources to manually request, retrieve and process all of that data.

Except that even in the old days, corporations and ultra-wealthy individuals did have the resources to do things that were out of reach to the common person. But because it's so rare, and because it's usually kept secret, no one knows or worries about the ramifications.

And then along comes technology and levels the playing field. Things that only the moneyed people could do previously, can now be done by anyone. And suddenly, people start to realize that's a huge problem.

Many people seem to think that the solution to such flare-ups is to introduce more friction, so that the average person can no longer afford to take advantage of the situation. Perhaps that's better than nothing, but it still leaves a loophole wide enough for megacorps and billionaires to take advantage of. Perhaps the real solution is to change the laws so that no one can legally take advantage of these loopholes, no matter how much money or resources they have. Ie, it's better to fail-fast and fix the underlying bug, than to put up a bunch of hacks and fail silently.

Great comment. I think this is an underappreciated trend. Technology is enabling actions that were previously unfathomable, due to limited resources and circumstantial practicalities.

Modern systems are much more powerful (in certain ways), enabling potential injustices that no one ever considered possible, and thus of course made no effort to protect against. We are only beginning to consider all of the ramifications of these new systems, what new abuses are available, what the impacts could may be, and how to properly account for new abuses.

We have to work hard to make sure our systems don't enable large-scale automated injustice.

I just got a $136 ticket from a stoplight camera for failing to Completely Stop at an intersection where there were no other cars for at least 1 mile in any direction, and made a right turn on red at about 3mph. It is serviced by a company 6 states away. Automated injustice is very alive today.

I am waiting for these devices to be declared unconstitutional. Many states already have.

Why is getting a ticket for a rolling stop injustice?

The serious answer to this is a sort of echo of the root comment in this thread. Our legal system incorporates the understanding that laws can only be partially enforced. Imagine if robots in the sky automatically cited you for every single infraction. How often do you cross the street outside of a crosswalk? Exceed the speed limit by 1mph? Fail to signal a turn? Drive a block or two without fastening your seatbelt?

Yeah, rolling through a stop at 3mph in the middle of nowhere probably isn't great, but it's not what folks hand in mind when they created the penalties for running red lights. An officer probably wouldn't have bothered to make the stop. But in a world where law enforcement is automated, 99.9% of citations will be these marginal cases.

Doesn't the root comment come to the opposite conclusion, though? From its last paragraph:

> Perhaps the real solution is to change the laws so that no one can legally take advantage of these loopholes, no matter how much money or resources they have.

i.e. if a law was created with the supposition that in practice it would only apply to a certain subset of cases to which it could in theory, then change the law so that it is universally applicable.

That being said, your "robots in the sky" scenario strikes me as a perfectly plausible example of a techno-dystopia we could create for ourselves far enough down that path.

An officer probably wouldn't have bothered to make the stop

If I had a dollar for every DUI story I've heard that involved getting pulled over "a block from home" after rolling through a stop sign..

I don't necessarily disagree with your point but I've seen and been on the receiving end of what could only described as "bored cop"

> If I had a dollar for every DUI story I've heard that involved getting pulled over "a block from home" after rolling through a stop sign..

If a cop suspects DUI, I want that driver pulled over even if they're entering their own driveway. "But I wasn't going to put any more people's lives in mortal danger by my recklessness tonight" is not a good argument. And keeping people from recklessly endangering others, whether by penalties that make them think twice or by taking their license, is one of the most basic reasons we have police at all.

You wont find a word of dissent from me on any of what you're saying here.

Because it disregards common sense in favor of mindlessly adhering to the law simply for the sake of doing so, without any thought about context or why the law exists in the first place.

Assuming the OP is correct, and he could actually see there were no cars, pedestrians, or cyclists nearby.

This[1] was on the front page of hacker news the other day.

[1] https://newsmaven.io/pinacnews/courtroom-files/ny-man-arrest...

So you ran a red light? Everyone has a justification for their own behavior

That's not quite the same as running a red light. In many places in the US, it is legal to make a right turn when the traffic light is right, provided that you slow down to a complete stop first. In practice, if there aren't any cars or pedestrians around, many people just slow down to ~3mph and keep going (a "rolling" stop, which is not quite legal).

We are also way more sensitive about our personal information than we used to be for some reason. When I was a boy, the local newspaper published the previous day's hospital admissions and discharges every day. At some point they stopped doing it, and now we have HIPAA which would probably result in huge fines for doing the same thing.

It’s hard to remember, but the telephone book used to contain the street address for almost every adult by default.

Yes, but that was everyone and organized in alphabetical order.

This is organized by reason for not being at your ballot box.

Beyond that, it just seems sketchy.

> We are also way more sensitive about our personal information than we used to be

That's not the typical narrative. I think people share far more than they ever did before, and when asked about privacy they express much less interest than previously (though that is changing a little now): People share things on social media that were never public before; they allow corporations and government to monitor and record their activities at scales that are orders of magnitude beyond what was done before. The threat of big brother and totalitarian government used to be a widespread concern (the book 1984 being an obvious example); now that it's happening, few seem to be bothered.

>Perhaps that's better than nothing

Arguably, it's worse than nothing for the reasons you described. It's the state-level equivalent of literally shoving things under the rug.

>Many people seem to think that the solution to such flare-ups is to introduce more friction, so that the average person can no longer afford to take advantage of the situation.

The philosophy seems similar to that behind the "right to be forgotten". Certain phrases are still permitted to be published for the world to read but not allowed to be discovered in a efficient manner.

The technology hasn't leveled the playing field at all, it just tilted all the power towards large organizations with lots of technologists sitting around.

What kind of technology department do you need to make a mail merge out of an excel file?

All this. It’s surveillance where your observation comes into its own tho.

I worked at the polls in California for the first time this year. We were required to post a public list of everyone who voted including their address. It's posted on the outside of the polling place for anyone to review if they so choose.

The point of anonymous voting is to ensure that the voter's choices are secret, not to conceal the fact that someone voted. Even in Afghanistan where voting can cost your life, purple dye is placed on a finger to maintain a rudimentary system of tracking who has voted and who hasn't.

EDIT: Let me add, I'm no Kemp apologist, but let's keep the focus on the real failures that occurred in GA... Not exaggerated problems.

Electoral Rolls are public information in Australia, you need special dispensation to be removed from them; there's no bulk access to them, it's protected access but it's not private data


What I don't get is that the state tracks party affiliation and publishes it. This information should not be public or even better not tracked.

Not all states track a party affiliation (mine doesn't), but most of those that do do it to track voting in primaries.

I wish I understood why the state runs a primary election. That seems like it should be the responsibility of the party to decide who their nominee is. Should be their own rules, and cost

I agree that it makes sense in the abstract that ostensibly private organizations conduct themselves as they see fit. But in the U.S. the practical reality is that the Democratic and Republican Parties are effectively official institutions. If voters' only input was to choose between two people secretly selected by these organizations, it wouldn't be very democratic. And imagine that happening in the many U.S. voting districts where the same party always wins - it would be completely undemocratic.

On the other hand, IIRC my history, before maybe the 1970s the U.S. parties did use more private processes, selecting candidates in the 'smoke-filled room' (the image is of fat old men smoking cigars and making deals). Some say the quality of candidate was better then.

Some states they do. In my state, the Democrats hold caucuses instead of primaries (even though the state runs primaries anyway—weird story), and I think at their own expense. Running an election is a pretty big operation (you need to register voters, check that they're eligible, set up and staff either polling places or mail-in sites, and so on. The state already has most of that infrastructure, and it seems wasteful to duplicate it. I don't know for sure, but I wouldn't be surprised if some (or all) primary states allow third parties to register to have their primaries run as well.

Next you will discover they hand it to a usually partisan vendor that runs their voter file.

If the state runs a partisan primary, they often want to know which party you're registered in so they can give you the correct ballot.

Some state like mine put everyone on the same ballot for the partisan primaries, and the instructions tell you to only vote in the column for your party, and if you vote in multiple parties your ballot is tossed out. Hence, we don't track which party you're "registered" as, because we don't need it - with the tradeoff of slightly more complex ballots .

The notion that the state of Georgia tracks party affiliation is false. Georgia Does not have party registration. the only thing it tracks is which party ballot you pull in a primary election. You can make some inferences about party affiliation by looking at the voter's history....but that is not always a reliable indicator of true party affiliation.

The parties want it, they have given themselves special privileges and don't want non-members to share.

> purple dye is placed on a finger to maintain a rudimentary system of tracking who has voted and who hasn't.

It happens in India as well, its to prevent same person voting multiple times.

This is nothing new. This kind of data has always been available in most states. As long ago as at least the mid-90s, I recall using large databases of every voter in a particular state when I was politically active and doing work for a party. It included name, address, phone number, party, registration date, and which elections they had participated in for the previous dozen years (at least). We had other data that was bumped against those records to give a fairly complete picture of over two million voters in that state. The other party had similar databases. I don't understand the outcry here, other than suddenly the data is available to anyone.

For what it's worth, not making it publicly available isn't really feasible either, since that would make fraud trivially easy for any resourceful and determined organization.

I subscribed to my state's monthly VRDB data dump for a few years. We Democrats were trying to better understand how and why voters were being purged. My Republican collaborators were using the same data to find fraudulent registrations.

Brian Kemp is a bad apple. But what he did here is unremarkable.

I am not sure that it can be considered doxxing if the personally identifying information is what used to be available in the phone book. Ma Bell was apparently doxxing us for decades before it was cool.

The phone book didn't tell you that someone was an absentee voter.

At least in my state, New Mexico, you can look that information up for any voter with just a name and birthday.

You can look up whether a voter in the state is casting an absentee ballot with just their name and birthday?

Gosh, if I were a criminal, there's an awful lot of homes that are likely candidates for robbing now that a list of "who is not home + their address" is public.

New Mexico doesn't require an excuse to vote with an absentee ballot¹.

Lots of states that do restrict them allow anyone over a certain age to use it.

So it doesn't really imply that they aren't home.

1. http://www.sos.state.nm.us/Voter_Information/Absentee_and_Ea...

Sure, but it is a much stronger indication that they are not home than just having a list of all registered voters in a state.

There are much easier ways of finding out whether or not someone is home than looking up if they are going to be voting. Just find out if everyone living there has a 9-5 job, for example.

Or you could just look up the social media pages of people in the town you're interested in, and see who's posting pictures from the Caribbean.

Or if they were disabled.

Which would have a strong correlation to "I'm out of the house at the moment."

Also known as an invitation to come rob me.

The Secretary of State (candidate Kemp in this case) could have handled this a lot better ... but chose not to.

And it didn't include their voter registration number.

What exactly would the use of that be? I have not the slightest idea what mine might be. It wouldn't surprise me at all if I have several, as I have registered in several different towns across multiple states over the years, and I don't have a lot of confidence that those records are cross-audited and resolved.

> the personally identifying information is what used to be available in the phone book

I think on HN we know well that changes in technology greatly affect the value and power of information.

I don't know at first glance if this is inappropriate. I do know at first glance that overseeing an election in which you are a candidate is a conflict of interest that should not happen.

If you look on the website there's actually a form where you can download the information a 500Mb spreadsheet with 2.6 million rows, not just what was linked here.

I'm not sure if this is actually priveliged information? Voter rolls typically have some of this information and can be purchased by the general public as far as I understand.

The controversy appears to be that you have to agree to something restricting usage of the data when you purchase it, but if someone downloads a publicly-accessible file off of the Internet without some T&C up front, they probably won't assume that there are conditions to its use.

Here's the terms and conditions you'd ordinarily have to agree to: https://georgiasecretaryofstate.net/pages/terms-and-conditio...

I assume there's some mulligans hidden in the VRDB to identify abusers. Like how map makers will add fictional features to catch copyright violations.

My local political party will "lend" our data to candidates we endorse. One of the perks we offer. We have contracts, with monetary penalties. Using mulligans, we've identified a few abuses, and made them pay up.

This may actually be a violation of the votesafe program actually http://sos.ga.gov/index.php/elections/votesafe

Just this Monday I sent email to 162,883 Floridians who had no record of having voted before: https://enki.org/2018/11/07/encouraging-people-to-vote/

The Florida data set which I requested has the same kind of information about absentee votes and physical addresses.

I am wondering if this kind of data will become less public.

What an amazing project. Neat read!

Thank you.

Choosing not to vote is a valid decision. Why shame people who do so?

I am not intending to shame anybody. I sent them a letter encouraging them. Many people thanked me. Some said I changed their minds about sitting out the election.

Why even encourage them? Assuming that most of them will vote Democrat?

This kind of partisan bickering is exactly why I decided to get more involved.

I don’t follow.

Maybe I misinterpreted your reply. I thought you were implying that people who might not participate are more likely to be Democrats and that is why I should not encourage them. I am an independent. I have no party affiliation. I desire to reduce the power of the parties. Even if I were to choose a party, I want more participation, regardless of party. Many are cynical like you. This creates a feedback loop where people are more likely to be cynical. I am exploring ways to improve that.

From the perspective of an Australian where voting is compulsory and something like 98% of those eligible actually vote: it should have been a list of the people who DIDN’T vote with a wtf!

More to the point, we have very clear rules and laws on the release and use of the electoral role details:


And anyone has the option of removing themselves from the roll, if they don't want their neighbours to see where they live, where:

> having my residential address shown on the publicly available roll places the personal safety of myself or members of my family at risk...

The fact that your country makes an even bigger mess of voting is no reason to gloat.

Please explain.

Compulsory voting is wrong for many reasons, it fixes a symptom (low voter turnout as a proxy for reduced participation) but not the cause (reduced participation due to a disconnect between politics and the voters).

Turnout by itself should not be a goal, but free and willing participation should be.

Actually, Australia's preferential voting & proportional representation do a far better job of connecting politics and voters than any country with a FPTP system (including US & Canada).


It's not about what people do once they vote, it's about how to get people to vote.

Compulsory voting is great if you are running a dictatorship, it is not a good idea if you want to create a functioning democracy because voter turnout is an excellent way to judge how engaged people are. That signal is lost when you force people to vote.

Yes, proportional representation is better than first-past-the-post. But you can have that irrespective of how you get people to vote in the first place.

> Compulsory voting is great if you are running a dictatorship... That's a ridiculous reach.

Not sure where you pulled that out from.

> That signal is lost when you force people to vote.

Many spoil votes on purpose. That's a signal.

You see voter turnout, I see voter suppression. I'd rather force everyone to the polls where they can choose to say nothing, than have the powers that be potentially silence those that have nothing.

FFS, it's one day in your life. Make it a voting holiday. Create more voting centers. Make it easier to vote.

Do you know _anything_ about the Australian political system and public engagement with politics?

Australian here, if you want to actually find out. Your assumptions about how it works are definitely not true in practice, and it's an interesting application of game theory to explain why.

So what your saying is that the unwashed masses shouldn't be able to vote?

Maybe we should go back in time, and not let women vote either, I mean you know how hysterical they are.

Its worth noting that its not actually compulsory to vote in Australia. Your options are:

1) go to a polling place and get your name marked off. Whether you actually vote after that is up to you. You can just leave or you can take ballot papers, not fill them out, draw pictures on them or whatever appeals to you.

2) pay a fairly trivial fine. I believe its $20. https://www.aec.gov.au/FAQs/Voting_Australia.htm

3) provide a reason why you didn't vote. Anecdotally the reasons can be incredibly flimsy. "I was suffering from a case of ennui" is a reason that has been accepted. https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/ennui

The whole point of it isn't to get people to vote. Its to ensure that the electoral roll is up to date. They don't care if you vote.

The “compulsory” part applies to both the voter and the Government. People in the remotest of remote communities, troops on deployment, researchers in Antartica, the Government is obliged that they all have a reasonable chance to lodge a vote.

Also of note is how EASY it is to vote here. Postal votes can be lodged. There are “early voting” places open a couple of weeks before the Election Day, and the elections are held on Saturdays.

I think the point is, what is the purpose of voting if the voter knows nothing about the candidates or issues on the ballot? You can pass a law making voting compulsory; it's a much bigger challenge to be sure the voter is informed about what he's voting on.

> what is the purpose of voting if the voter knows nothing about the candidates or issues on the ballot?

Basically eliminating voter suppression, for one.

It's always possible to explicitly vote for none of the candidates. You just have to turn up. I reckon this probably results in a better representation og the true will of the people overall.

There's a (slightly) higher chance of the voter getting themselves informed if voting is compulsory. You won't get everyone, but it's certainly more than it being optional where you can choose to be lazy and have no repercussions.

But low turnout may frequently be due not to apathy, but to inability to get to the polls. I think this differentially affects the working poor, whose employers may deny them compensated time to vote. They're poor and can't take a chance that their employers will retaliate against them for exercising their suffrage.

Compulsory voting could easily include a requirement that employers impose no penalty at all on an employee who takes time from work to vote.

For the USA, universal voter registration and compulsory voting would utterly moot multiple recurring dramas, imagined or legit.

Purging, caging, shunting voters to provisionals, registration errors, challenges (eg mismatched signatures), insufficient poll sites and ballots, etc, etc.

But then what would the infotainment complex talk about if we engineered away all the manufactured outrage and electioneering?

Compulsory voting simplifies ensuring election integrity. By making administration more like double entry accounting. 100 ballots issued, 100 ballots returned.

Voters always have the option to soil their ballots. Or leave them blank.

Everyone used to have a printed telephone book with almost everyone's name and address. There are lots of public record search sites. Names and addresses are not hard to find. What's the big deal?

Privacy derangement syndrome is big now. People even question license plates.

The thing is, there's more than just a difference of scale if you can find out a bit of data about one specific person, or a handful of specific people, and if you can find out that bit of data about the majority of the people in a population. There's a difference between being able to find out specifically if Jo Doe is a member of group X, and being able to find out all the members of group X and noticing that Jo Doe is in that group.

People can be targetted - for advertising, for harassment, for enhanced surveillance - if public information is available in the aggregate, in ways that they cannot be targetted if the information is not.

There are some types of data about individuals, where it is in the public interest for that data to be available, but it also represents an invasion of privacy if it is. So the public benefits have to be weighed against the potential for harm. The thing is, the potential for harm changes depending on "how available" the data is. If the decision on whether to make data public was made in a time where getting individual pieces of data was time-consuming and inconvenient, and getting data in the aggregate was near-impossible, then if the data suddenly becomes available in the aggregate to anyone with a passing interest in obtaining it, the trade-off that was made to determine whether the data should have been made public is no longer valid.

So saying that something is "public information" is... tricky. There are cases where we should look back at the trade-offs we made, and re-evaluate them in the light of the technology that is now available to the average person.

I genuinely don't know how to talk about this topic on the Internet. Every online community I've been part of has a toxic reaction to the notion that privacy is anything but one of the most important things a person has.

I don't recommend trying.

Without the internet, there's not a lot that can easily be done with just my license plate number. We live in a different world, and it's not derangement to acknowledge that.

Well, given that WHOIS information is sufficient to start a social engineering attack, people are rightfully concerned.

The state of Washington publishes the entire voter roll, complete with names, addresses, and dates of birth, online in CSV format.


Okay but if this shows the reason for absentee voting does this leak sensitive health information? Name and address whatever, but if you have a physical impairment then is this now public record? Has anyone looked through the list?

Voter records are public. Even the absentee lists are made public 1-2 day after the vote. They'll be doxxed regardless.

As long as this data release honours requests to keep names and addresses silent, I see no problem with it. You already register to vote, that information is publicly available. The assumption that it’s inconvenient to uncover is false: that’s security through assumed laziness.

The moment this crosses the line and people start publishing the names and addresses of people who have asked that their details remain unpublished, that should be a crime. Doing so exposes vulnerable people to harassment and death, often at the hands of domestic abusers or drug gangs they’ve been trying to escape.

> “Releasing this data in aggregate could be seen as suppressing future absentee voters in Georgia who do not want their information released in this manner,” he said.

This was my immediate conclusion. What a transparently detestable move.

This is a red herring. Yellow books have existed for decades with peoples name and addresses. Not taking a stance on the doxxing but the real problem with what's happening in Georgia is the fact that the election is straight up rigged like a banana republic. Techcrunch spends literally half a sentence on this issue in the entire article:

"Kemp, who as secretary of state effectively runs the state’s elections despite running in one, has been accused of voter suppression in recent weeks, "


Look what some others are doing with this publicly available information:


This publicly available information is an excel spreadsheet with names and addresses of absentee voters in the midterm.

The article mentions two specific dangers about absentee voter lists: targeting unoccupied properties and-- related-- discouraging the absentee vote on the next election. That and the lack of ToS meant that posting this list was a bad idea.

I followed your link but didn't find any examples of wrongly posting gratis downloadable absentee lists. Instead I read examples of problems with Democrats attempting to shame people into voting based on publicly available (though not gratis downloadable) data.

That is a different issue than giving the public immediate access to absentee voting lists the day after an election. We don't need links vigilantly posted from "the other side" about a different issue to remind us that people do bad things all across the political spectrum. Please save them for a time when a poster claims that Democrats take data protection much more seriously than this. (I.e., please don't ever post them.)

"...targeting unoccupied properties..."

This is why I could never be a criminal. I would have never thought of that exploit. It sometimes scares me how clever and resourceful some people can be.

Just because someone used an absentee ballot doesn’t mean the address is unoccupied. I used my parents address in college and I know people who used it because they were traveling Election Day.

Lots of odd and suspicious things have been happening around Georgia elections.

See https://medium.com/@jennycohn1/georgia-6-and-the-voting-mach...

Maybe they can have the new secretary of state run another election for governor?

If it was a sane country, he'd be in jail for all that voter suppression he's done and also this!

I see no problem with this. It's public data. If you don't like it, change the law.

It’s insane that the person running the election commission can run in the election.

If any sort of monitors were looking at this election it wouldn't be considered legitimate.

Brian Kemp should be in jail for his actions. Actually he never should have been in a position to take these actions. Instead he's going to be governor with no opposition.

Whilst legally it may not be wrong. Morally, it's a dangerous path as what good do they expect to come from this by aggregating the data into packaged up form that enables joe public of all forms, easy access.

It is in effect, tarring all these people with a brush that is an edge-case scenario and that would be voter fraud.

Guilty until proven innocent in the social media age has become the norm alas.

How is this tarring people? For voting?

In fairness, black folks in the South have legitimate reasons to be a bit leery of a public "here's who voted" list. Plenty alive today were alive during Jim Crow.

No, they had legitimate reasons many years ago. There is no such legitimate fear these days.

Far-right white supremacist militia groups specifically threatened to use force if Georgia's black female Governor candidate won the election.

Also, the law enforcement community does recognize such far-right extremists as a legitimate threat.



Threatening a person(the possible governor) is different than threatening the entire black population. If white supremacists wanted to just kill random black people, they don't need a voter roll for that. If they wanted to kill just black people who voted for Abrams, the voter roll doesn't tell them that. If they wanted to kill anyone who would vote for Abrams, then expressing your support for her on facebook seems far more dangerous than actually casting a secret ballot.

The Klan still exists, and I don't blame someone who lived through Jim Crow for retaining the fear, just as Depression-era folks often tend to scrimp and save despite nearly a century of relative economic stability.

Sure, fine, but most black people alive today did not live through the Jim Crow era. If the klan wants to terrorize black people, they don't need the voter rolls to do it. Go attack any random black family and the odds are good that you just attacked a family with at least one voter in it.

> Sure, fine, but most black people alive today did not live through the Jim Crow era.

Jim Crow only formally ended a little over 50 years ago, and let's not pretend the folks enforcing it took that SCOTUS ruling and went "ooops, my bad, we'll be good now!" Racial disparities in things like policing, voter suppression, etc. all still exist. Many Southern jurisdictions were still under DOJ supervision until 2013, and probably still should be.

As with Depression-era folks, some of the fears and practices get passed down. There are folks with Scottish ancestors from the 1600s who do their weddings in kilts hundreds of years later; the idea that fear of Jim Crow can't be passed down is absurd.

> If the klan wants to terrorize black people, they don't need the voter rolls to do it.

It should be fairly obvious that it makes it significantly easier to suppress voting if you have a list of voters to specifically target.

> It should be fairly obvious that it makes it significantly easier to suppress voting if you have a list of voters to specifically target.

And how many instances are there of that happening in the past, say, 20 years?

Here's a good example of how these rolls can be abused:


> Just prior to the 1990 general election, postcards were sent to over 100,000 black voters in the state. The sending of these postcards was financed directly by the North Carolina Republican Party and indirectly by Senator Helms’ reelection campaign. As I recall several thousand white voters were sent postcards as well. Information gathered by DOJ during its investigation showed that the voting precincts targeted to receive the postcard mailing were 94% black, overall.

> The postcard contained inaccurate information telling voters that they could not vote on Election Day if they did not reside at the address at which they were registered for the 30 days prior to the election. The postcard also suggested that any voter who did attempt to vote would be subject to federal prosecution.

This case wound up with a consent decree being put into place.

As for number of instances, I'm not sure how you'd possibly begin to quantify that. Most instances would result in no reporting whatsoever, those reported would be hard to prosecute (anonymous threatening calls, for example), etc. What's clear is intimidation/suppression attempts do still occur - it's trivial to find examples of them.

I'm not naive enough to expect this data to remain private .. but considering Americans are being verbally harassed and physically assaulted in public for attending public talks in universities held by student groups of mainstream parties, or wearing a hat in support of the president elected by of 48% of voters in the country, its not hard to see how people could be targeted with this information.

It happens online too, people are getting banned from video game forums merely for expressing support for particular elected officials and their entire administrations [1]. We're well beyond the era where extremism / hate get you banned, the bar is being lowered and lowered to the point of speaking positively about a political group = banning.

[1] https://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?835849-New-Ban-Do-Not-P...

Voter information is already a matter of public record

Yes it is in some places. I'm not concerned about the data being public, more the tarring part being a real thing.

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