White House attempts to intimidate by publishing identifying info

Published 8:29 am Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Dear Editor,

I recently submitted a comment to the Commission on Electoral Integrity objecting to the commission’s request that the nation’s secretaries of state turn over private voter information including the name, address, birthdate, voting history, last four digits of SSN and military service of registered voters.

Thankfully, our Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes rejected the Commission’s request, calling it “at best a waste of taxpayer money and at worst an attempt to legitimize voter suppression efforts across the country.”

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When I submitted my comment, I included my name, address and since it was emailed, my email address. I do the same when submitting a letter to the editor (I have written a few!) or when contacting my members of Congress, so they can verify I am who I say I am. However, when letters or comments are published, most of my personal information is omitted to protect my privacy.

I realize in writing these letters or comments, if someone really wants to find out where I live, they can do so, but at least they have to make an effort.

So, imagine my surprise when I find out that the White House posted my comments to their commission on their website without redacting my personal information (home address and email), along with those of several other people in other states. A paragraph has now been added to the site stating that personal information may be published.

I am not a conspiracy theorist, but there are plenty of people telling me that this is an effort to intimidate or quiet dissent. I initially believed it was incompetence and in another time (pre-Trump) the publishing of this information would probably not have bothered me. But in this age of trolling and fevered support for the man in the White House, I am bothered.

This letter is a warning and a promise. First, be aware that if you submit a letter or comment to the White House or any of its commissions or agencies, your personal information will probably be published. The promise is I will not be silenced or intimidated and I would certainly not trust this White House or its Commission on Electoral Integrity to keep my personal information protected and neither should you!

Julie Pease