Controversial bill to make some voter information public proposed

Local Politics

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – A controversial bill that would make the information of some voters public is making its way through the state legislature.

Back in 2018, Utah became the only state in the nation to give voters the option to keep their registration private.

This means you can register as a Republican or Democrat, for example, then check a box — and nobody can find that information about you.

According to the bill’s sponsor, 14 percent of voters have opted to make their information private. If that trend continues, according to State Sen. Jacob Anderegg, up to 50 percent of voters could opt-out of sharing information.

Anderegg says he is in favor of making that information public again.

Why? The current law, he says, favors big-money politicians, because they can afford to blanket the airwaves and other platforms — even without knowing who is a Republican or Democrat and who might be registered to vote at all.

He says the average person who wants to run for office is greatly disadvantaged by not having access to voter information.

On Tuesday, the bill was pulled to make tweaks over concerns from various constituencies, like those who support domestic violence victims.

Jenn Oxborrow, with Utah Domestic Violence Coalition, applauds the move. If those victims had their information made public, she says, it could be dangerous.

The bill will be tweaked and likely put before a committee vote in the next week or so, according to the bill’s sponsor.

If you are suffering from domestic violence, Oxborrow says, there is always help in the form of a confidential, 24-hour support line: 1-800-897-LINK (5465)


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Glen Mills

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 Glen is honored to be delivering the news of the day every weeknight at 5, 6, and 10 in his home state. He is an award-winning veteran journalist, who joined the ABC4 News team as a weekend anchor in June 2013. Over the years, he held various positions at the station as he worked his way up to the main anchor chair. He also serves as our Senior Political Correspondent and hosts Inside Utah Politics, which airs every Sunday. The Utah Headliners Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists has recognized Glen as the best government and military television reporter in the state. Before returning home to Utah, he spent 11 1/2 years developing his journalism skills in other states. He held various on-air and management positions at KPVI in Pocatello, Idaho, WGBA in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and KKCO in Grand Junction, Colorado during that time. Read More...