Nebraska Secretary of State wants more details before deciding on release of voter information

LINCOLN, Neb. (WOWT) -- Nebraska Secretary of State John Gale wants more information about what the state's voter registration information will be used for before making a decision on releasing the data.

The information has been requested by the Presidential Commission on Election Integrity - a request largely rebuked by the states.

Gale Issued the following statement on Thursday:

Nebraska law provides that the voter registration register is a public record and may be released for certain purposes related to elections, political activities, voter registration, law enforcement, and jury selection. It may not be used for commercial purposes. Other state laws allow for sensitive information, such as social security numbers to be withheld from the public. In order to obtain the voter registration register, requestors must complete an affidavit under penalty of election falsification indicating that the list will be used solely for the prescribed purposes and will not be copied or used for unauthorized purposes.

At this time the Presidential Commission on Election Integrity has not yet met to specify in detail its reasons for requesting voter registration information and whether those reasons comply with Nebraska law. The letter from the commission to my office indicated that information submitted to the commission would be made available to the public. If made available to the public, it may be subject to uses that run counter to Nebraska’s laws with respect to the voter registration register.
I also have a concern about data privacy. I have no clear assurances about the security that this national database will receive. In light of the domestic and foreign attacks in 2016 on state voter registration databases, the commission will need to assure my office of a high level of security.

Knowing how the data will be used, how it will be secured and how it might be publically shared by the commission is vitally important. With assurance that this request meets compliance with Nebraska law and that these additional concerns are addressed, I will comply with the commission’s request for publically available information.