The Government Accountability Board decides, for now, not to post recall petitions against Governor Scott Walker online.
The ACLU raises privacy concerns as the GAB posts pdf files on their public website of scanned recall petitions against elected officials, including the more than one million signatures against the Republican governor.
The information is a matter of public record, but Stacy Harbaugh with ACLU-Wisconsin says they want to balance transparency with privacy. “The ACLU-Wisconsin does have a concern for both of the issues — balancing individual privacy rights when their name and addresses are listed on the Internet versus the true need for transparency and openness in this recall signature verification process.”
Governor Scott Walker says he is okay with the files being posted online for everyone to see. “I think the fact that GAB put up even a webcast for people to see what was going on, people know, they can see there’s no tampering, that they’ve had a high integrity in the process. I think people wanna to know exactly what’s going on.”
Harbaugh notes, Wisconsin state law provides for something called a confidential elector. “That’s special protectors for people who may be targets for stalking or survivors of domestic violence, who want to have their information shielded on other public documents.”
Electors who are victims of domestic abuse, sexual assault or stalking have the option to be listed confidentially on poll lists. Harbaugh says that same privilege should be extended to those victims who sign recall petitions, especially if the signatures are put into searchable digital database. Advocacy groups for victims say those signatures could be redacted before being made public.
Petitions for recall elections against four state senators have been online for several days, and the signatures against Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch are the last to be scanned.
The MacIver Institute says it will file an open records request to the GAB in the morning to ensure the recall signatures are publicly available.
AUDIO: Jackie Johnson report 1:46