If you are registered to vote in Florida, a lot of your personal information is available for anyone to see.
That includes names, addresses, dates of birth and more.
“I was really upset to [find] that my daughter, as a minor, her public information was out there. Name, address, when she registered to vote, all of that was just very accessible,” Michelle Chamberlin said.
When Chamberlin’s daughter, Ally, got her driver's license, the 17-year-old pre-registered to vote.
But they had no idea so much of her information would end up on a website.
“Someone may want to look that up, and they can find it. It’s very easy to access,” Ally said.
Pasco County Supervisor of Elections Brian Corley said he’s receiving more and more complaints about voter information on websites like www.flvoters.com, with major concerns about identity theft.
“When you are getting these phone calls from voters, it really hits home,” Corley said.
He said a former New Hampshire state legislator bought Florida’s voting database, which is public record, for $5.
The site says “A clean voter list is essential to free and fair elections, and public scrutiny of the voter list is essential to maintaining the integrity of the list.”
But it also has advertisement.
“Voters should not have to choose between protecting their identity and privacy and exercising their precious right to vote. It should not be a choice between the two,” Corley said.
The issue is such a concern that lawmakers are working on passing a bill to protect the information from commercial use.
A bill the First Amendment Foundation said “isn’t justified” and is “contrary to the public interest.”
“We are trying to find a balance because there are some watchdog groups that use the data to make sure there is no voter fraud or irregularities going on. Oversight is always a good thing. Also the media uses it and we are sensitive to that,” Corley said.
“I know even with social media there are a lot of things out there. Students have Twitter and Facebook, but their personal information is not there. Our address is right on that information when it comes up,” Chamberlin said.
The site also offers the same information from seven other states.