Those Floridians, who mail in their ballots, are now being asked to provide personal information on the outside of the envelopes – information that can be seen or taken by anyone, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel is reporting.
The personal details include voters’ email addresses, home and mobile phone numbers and signatures. The newspaper said anyone who comes in contact with the envelopes has the opportunity to take the information.
The request for the information was added by the state Legislature and governor last year, the Sentinel noted. However, a requirement for voters’ signatures on the outside of the envelopes has been in place for some time.
“I think it’s a really stupid idea,” said Susan Grant of the Consumer Federation of America. “And I can’t even understand the rationale for it, quite frankly. That’s the sort of information . . . should be inside the secure envelope, not outside for anybody to see it.
“Your signature could easily be scanned by somebody using a $150 scanner and then affixed to various documents as though it was you signing.”
And she said information from one source can be combined with details from other places to access accounts or impersonate people for fraudulent purposes.
Election officials stressed that providing the information – other than the required signature -- is voluntary.
“The concern was that so many ballots arrive late in the process and mail is simply too slow to let the voter know their ballot will not count because of a deficiency, like no signature, the wrong address etc.,” said Broward County Supervisor of Elections Peter Antonacci.
Brenda Snipes had left her post as the Broward elections supervisor after she faced heavy criticism for her vote counting process during the midterm elections.
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