Of course there’s a balance to be struck between public information and privacy, but this just looks suspicious:
Two summers ago, Secretary of State Nellie M. Gorbea quietly changed what information is available to the public in the state’s Central Voter Registration System.
Without public notice or public hearings, Gorbea deleted the month and day from the date of birth supplied to the public in response to requests for the voting list.
Full dates of birth can be key to independent investigations into how accurately Gorbea is maintaining the state’s voting list. Full dates of birth facilitate computerized searches for voters who may be registered in more than one municipality, may be registered in more than one state, or may have died.
As a rule of thumb, when politicians believe they’re doing something smart or popular, they create events, like hearings, and promote their actions with press releases. When they’re doing something that they think might not be popular or for which they’ve got some ulterior motive, they do it “without public notice or public hearings.” This is especially true when the politicians are using executive power to act, rather than legislative.
The motive could be as crass as responding to the desires of a big donor or as insidious as a plan to make election fraud more feasible. In making a judgment as to where on that spectrum Gorbea’s action might fall, Rhode Islanders should recall that she also requested (and received) legislation from the General Assembly that would make fraud with mail ballots easier.
The mantra on the Left is that there is no evidence of systemic vote fraud. To the extent that’s true (which isn’t much of an extent), one still must wonder about a secretary of state whose pattern of action seems to make it more difficult to find proof, rather than more difficult to commit fraud.