EIN: Voter Participation Center Using Deceptive Registration Tactics to Mine Voter Data | Joe Hoft

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EIN: Voter Participation Center Using Deceptive Registration Tactics to Mine Voter Data

Voter Participation Center Using Deceptive Registration Tactics to Mine Voter Data 

Election Integrity Network BOLO:

Voter Participation Center Using Deceptive Registration Tactics to Mine Voter Data 

Washington, D.C., June 20, 2024Election Integrity Network (EIN) and state coalition partners are calling on secretaries of state and citizens to be on the lookout for deceptive tactics by third-party activists to mine Americans’ Personally Identifiable Information (PII).

The mailers appear to be collecting personal data under the guise of a legitimate state program to register to vote.

Recipients who click on a “QR” code affixed to the mailings are directed to a private, third-party website from the Voter Participation Center, a tax-exempt, 501 (3) organization that works closely with progressive activist groups. The site collects user data for the activist group’s own potential use.

“The site does not give any clear disclaimer before it navigates the user back to the state’s voter registration site,” said James Womack, who heads EIN’s Election Technology Working Group.

It also appears to require the email and recipients’ zip code before they can navigate to a new page that collects their name, birthdate, address, and other relevant data.

The practice raises questions about the legality of these mailings. In North Carolina, emails are considered PII under state law and not publicly shareable.

Ned Jones, director of the Citizen Election Research Center (CERC), a project of EIN, said the mailers are collecting PII of voters in a way that appears deceptive.

“If you scan the QR Code, it doesn’t lead directly to your state’s registration authority. Instead, it is taking recipients to a data collection center that gathers email and other PII,” Jones said.

The North Carolina mailings state that recipients can “easily register or update your registration online” but then points to a QR code, which navigates the user to a “popup” screen. The site does not indicate that providing personal data to the private site before registering to vote is optional.

North Carolina’s concerns are not isolated to that state alone.

After receiving complaints from concerned Alabama voters who received voter registration forms addressed to a deceased relative, Secretary of State Wes Allen recently alerted state residents about similar mailings, which also appear to be addressed to non-citizens.

“Those voter registration mailings are not coming from my office but are, instead, coming from state agencies at the direction of the federal government due to an overly broad interpretation of the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA),” Allen said in a statement.

“These practices are appalling and the federal law must be changed.”

The mailings from Voter Participation Center-aligned organizations have a history of causing confusion with voters across several states. In 2020, election officials in Fairfax County, Virginia, had to warn residents of “inaccurate voter mailing” after pre-populated applications for absentee ballots were printed with the wrong election office return address. The letters were sent to over 2 million residents.

The latest mailings from Voter Participation Center appear to be powered by “Rock the Vote,” which describes itself as a “nonpartisan nonprofit” but pushes a one-sided leftwing agenda through its outreach to young people.

The tactics used to collect personal data for electioneering activities also raise questions about how state agencies are vetting the use of voter roll data for these mailings, said CERC’s Jones.

“State election officials, whose job it is to protect the privacy of voters, must block any attempt by a third-party organization to mine the private information of their citizens — particularly if they are doing it under the guise of registering voters.”

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This Press Release may be reprinted in part or in whole provided attribution is given to Election Integrity Network and the principals quoted above.

A link to the Advisory and images is HERE.

1 thought on “EIN: Voter Participation Center Using Deceptive Registration Tactics to Mine Voter Data”

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