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Voters emails at risk

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Updated: 6/17/2013 11:52 pm

GREEN COVE SPRINGS, Fla. -- The cost of hosting an election can get expensive.

To cut back, Florida supervisors rallied for the paper reduction act this year, and with the passage of HB 247, they are now allowed to ask for your email address when you register to vote.

But the effort may be undermined by the passage of another bill, HB 249.

Clay County Supervisor Chris Chambless got call after call during the 2012 election season from angry voters wanting to know why campaigns, candidates and political action groups were flooding their inboxes.

The answer? Just like your name and home address, your email is public record too.

"In some cases the voters are actually wanting to unregister, so we took action. Clearly if we are going to solicit email addresses then we probably want to protect those email addresses."

Florida's House and Senate overwhelmingly approve HB 249, a move to keep emails addresses private from now on, but on Friday, Governor Rick Scott vetoed the bill. 

"It is essential to keep these channels of communication open to the public," he wrote.

But some voters tell Action News that even though they support the cost-saving idea to use more technology, they don't want their privacy to be compromised.

Chambless confirms privacy is a big concern. He worries fewer voters could register, and if those who do aren't willing to use email, the entire point of the paper reduction act, would be lost.

"We're talking literally 10s of thousands of dollars in some jurisdictions just to send out a sample ballot one time."

Supporters of the bill say they will try again next session.

Action News has learned your drivers license number and social security numbers are still exempt from public records.

 

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Truthseeker - 6/18/2013 5:21 AM
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I don't see the problem. The sample ballot is available on the Supervisor of Elections website, so why does it need to be emailed to people? Those who want it can go online and get it. I know, I know, the whiners will say, "What if they don't have a computer?" Then they probably don't have or don't care about email access either.
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