Penny For Your Thoughts? How About Your Personal Information
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – When you step into the voting booth, it may all seem very private, after all, how could it not with those dividers and curtains?
But while who you vote for may be confidential, that’s about it. In fact, your voter registration information is for sale, for one pretty penny.
Since 1989 the state of Alabama has sold registration information to political campaigns and private companies, for 1 cent per person. Full name, address, date of birth, gender, race, and when and where you’ve voted over the past 10 years is all for sale.
While it may be disconcerting to know your personal information is on the market, WHNT News 19′s political analyst, Jess Brown, says privacy is a matter of perspective.
“There should be really no expectation of privacy for your name or even your address,” said Brown. “When we get into unlisted phone numbers and date of birth then the expectation of privacy does increase.”
The Alabama Secretary of State’s office says they do occasionally get a call from a voter upset that their information is for sale, usually around election season when robocalls are made. Voters also voice concerns about the possibility of identity theft.
For the past three years, the Secretary of State’s office has pushed legislation that would allow victims for the redaction of information for victims of domestic violence from the sale. It has gained some traction but has yet to pass.
Forty-seven other states offer their voter registration rolls for little to no cost.