Mayor Barrett Disagrees with Public Release of Confidential Voter Data
Milwaukee Election Commission receiving calls on release of confidential voter data
MILWAUKEE – Mayor Tom Barrett and the City of Milwaukee Election Commission raised concerns with the Federal Election Integrity Commission’s request to all states, including Wisconsin, for voter registration data. The request was made for all publicly available voter registration data, including highly-sensitive information about voters’ political affiliation, Social Security numbers, criminal history and military status.
Mayor Barrett strongly disagrees with the release of any confidential information maintained in the State’s voter registration database. The Mayor is also concerned with how the public is perceiving and responding to the Election Integrity Commission’s request.
“Not only am I concerned with what types of information could be released, I am equally concerned with how the public is perceiving this request and how their perceptions may impact their continued participation in voting,” Mayor Barrett said. “With residents already requesting to inactivate their voter registration records, we must assure them that we are protecting their privacy and the integrity of our voter information system.”
Many of the callers have been satisfied with the information and assurances that Milwaukee Election Commission staff have been able to provide, while others have requested that the Commission inactivate their voter registration records.
The City of Milwaukee, like most other Wisconsin municipalities, is a user of Wisconsin’s statewide voter registration database.
“The decision regarding the release of data will be made by the state and we have been in regular contact with the Wisconsin Election Commission (WEC) regarding the status of the request,” said Milwaukee Election Commission Executive Director Neil Albrecht. “This office fully supports transparency in elections, but we will adamantly oppose the release of confidential voter registration data.”
The WEC has stated that the agency is prohibited by state law from releasing a voter’s date of birth, drivers’ license number, Social Security Number or other confidential information. The names, addresses and voting histories (which elections, but not candidate votes) are considered public information and may be purchased through the WEC.
Residents who wish to voice their concerns can contact the Milwaukee Election Commission at (414) 286-3491.