Ocean City Today

Protect voter data from hackers, not harvest it

Readers' Forum
Jul 06, 2017



printed 07/07/2017


This letter was sent to Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen, and Representative Andy Harris and forwarded to Ocean City Today.


I have been a paid election judge for more than 30 years, first while living in Baltimore County and now on the Eastern Shore of Maryland in Worcester County.

I have had numerous training sessions for the job prior to each primary or general election. As poll book judge and a chief judge, I know the responsibility of making sure the voter in front of us is the one listed in the poll book.

We are told to ask certain open-ended pertinent questions, not leading questions, to assure ourselves we have the right person.  I have never encountered any instance of voter fraud or impersonation in all my years working the polls.

The records we are entrusted with, and which we review during an election day, are sacrosanct. I do not approve of sharing this sensitive data, including dates of birth, the last four digits of SSNs, and other personally identifying information with the Commission appointed by the President.

Our first and major thrust as a nation with respect to election security is for the federal government to work with states to ensure data is protected against hackers and will not again be accessed for political purposes by any internal or external actors.

States can then work within their own systems without giving up their data to outsiders, thus safeguarding the information.

I sincerely hope you push for this type of investigation first and foremost at the federal level not a random harvesting by a federal bureaucracy of  sensitive state files.

Ann Augustine


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