Saturday, July 15, 2017
Sharing voter data isn’t good for American people
I am alarmed that Trump’s Kris Kobach has requested every voter’s information. This demand for such details about the population is frightening in many different ways. For one, it reminds me of the book IBM and the Holocaust, written by Edwin Black. This book tells the history of how the Nazis, during the 1930s, were able to round up so many non-Aryans in the blink-ofan-eye, because IBM had set up a database of the German people’s various qualities. Many of these same qualities that the Nazis computerized, the Trump administration is now asking every state to turn over to him.
Most states have privacy and secrecy laws in regards to voting. I don’t know if Arkansas has such a law, but the tradition of voter secrecy is an idea that is over 1,000 years old, and was adopted fully by the country’s founders. Whether Arkansas is protected by such a law doesn’t lessen the fact that the Trump administration’s request has an appearance of being unethical.
I realize this information is being sought after so that voter fraud can be investigated. My opinion on that is just let the 38 known national cases of double voting in the last election go. America still has a below-living wage crisis, infrastructure deterioration, climate concerns, excessive gun violence, drug problems, and, oh, let’s not forget the Russia hacking our elections issue.
Even if much of this data is available to any person willing to go and retrieve it, the biggest danger in this list is the all-encompassing nature of having every voter’s information in one location. What any organization can do with such a list would only be limited by their desire and creativity.
Finally, as to uploading any information to an unsecured Internet cloud account, that is clearly an idiot’s folly. Once online, even on a secure server, every hacker with a desire to weaken America will attack. And with Russia, well, Trump will probably just hand them the password.
Until fair system in place,
compassion is order of day
The June 25 editorial “No Sanctuary” makes the excellent point that our nation’s immigration system is broken. That’s one point people on most sides of the issue can agree to. The assumption of the editorial, though, is that the problem lies with those who disobey the broken laws, and not with the lawmakers who are reluctant to address the complex problems and give us a system that can actually work for human beings, business and the nation. This is the bedrock difficulty we face, and it must be addressed.
I hope our congressional members John Boozman, Tom Cotton and Steve Womack are hearing the cry of the people from their districts who are asking for this.
Until there’s a fair system in place that acknowledges the problem, honors the humanity of people, recognizes that businesses need workers, and families and communities need to be cherished, not broken up, until that enlightened system is in place, it will be necessary for well-meaning communities that want to be seen as welcoming to all to remind our leaders that this is wrong.
Until then it will be important for good-hearted citizens to defend the humanity of those desperate and honest people who come across our borders seeking safety and a good life.
director, OMNI Center for Peace, Justice & Ecology
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