Update #4: Linn County voter data

An article in the August 5th Gazette caused a Linn County resident to contact the Auditors Office and Deputy Stonawski responded with the following email. The resident’s concerns are well placed and, again, I apologize to Linn County’s registered voters that voter data was accidentally released.

At this time, I have nothing more to report as we are pursuing legal remedies to bring closure to this incident. -Joel D. Miller – Linn County Auditor

From: Rebecca Stonawski
Sent: Tuesday, August 8, 2017 9:53 AM
Cc: Joel D. Miller

Dear Ms. F:

Thank you for reaching out. I understand your concerns, and I appreciate your patience in awaiting a response.

We have been working diligently over the past four days with both law enforcement and internet companies to minimize any potential concern. As a legal process is ongoing, I cannot comment specifically on the process. However, our goal is to take care of this issue with minimal damage to the public interest.

We are also communicating with the Linn County Board of Supervisors and the County Attorney to decide if any protectionary measures are needed. I am hopeful that protectionary measures will not be needed.

However, if they are, we will follow the law from the Code of Iowa in regard to notification of each person involved and action steps. You do not need to do anything at the present time.

I cannot comment on employee issues. However, we have placed a temporary moratorium on fulfilling voter data requests from our office. We will be working with the Iowa Secretary of States office to make sure that this never happens again.

I want to apologize sincerely for the stress and loss of trust that this has caused. We believe that there was no mal-intent on anyones part, and it was simply an accident. However, we recognize that this type of issue will take time to address.

I also encourage you to continue to vote. I understand your concerns, but we believe very strongly that the right to vote is one of the most important rights Americans have.

Thank you very much for expressing your concern. Our office made a mistake, and we have been working diligently to address it quickly. We welcome any additional questions you have.


Becky Stonawski, Deputy Commissioner of Elections, JD, PhD

#319-892-5300, opt. #1 rebecca.stonawski

Begin forwarded message:

From: CF
Date: August 5, 2017 at 10:03:30 AM CDT
To: <Auditor>
Subject: Voter data release

Mr. Miller

What a disappointment to read in the paper this morning about the voter data released with partial social security numbers.
A few weeks ago I wrote Paul Pate regarding releasing voter data for the Trump administration that sounded like it would have social security numbers. It seemed to be just an easier way for all information to be hacked, or given away so easily by the click on the keyboard.
I guess I don’t see why this information is needed on a weekly basis.
The last four digits of a social security # are asked for all the time when you have to call an insurance co., doctors office and many other personal things. I don’t see why this information is given at all.
I hope people that release things like this don’t continue to have access to it. It’s more than just a simple click on the wrong box. It’s our personal data.
It’s beginning to seem like being a registered voter is just too risky.


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