Government

Save your Bitcoin: Voter data for sale online already available to public, Iowa official says

Paul Pate is the Republican incumbent Iowa Secretary of State. Photographed in Cedar Rapids on Friday, Oct. 5, 2018. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)
Paul Pate is the Republican incumbent Iowa Secretary of State. Photographed in Cedar Rapids on Friday, Oct. 5, 2018. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)

Following a televised report this week that information about Iowa voters is for sale on the internet, Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate said Tuesday the data is a public record that does not include confidential information — although it’s illegal to sell.

“Voter registration lists are provided regularly to political parties, candidates and media organizations, but do not include voters’ personal information, such as Social Security and driver’s license numbers,” he said in a statement. “We vigilantly protect voters’ personal data. Iowa law prohibits any commercial use or resale of voter lists and my office is working with law enforcement to identify and prosecute this offender. This release of voter registration information that is already publicly available has no impact on the security and legitimacy of Iowa’s elections.”

KWQC-TV from the Quad Cities had reported that two cybersecurity firms found that voter information from 19 states was for sale. Iowa’s data was offered for $1,100, the report said.

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