Bowing to fierce criticism from elected officials and privacy advocates, the New York City Board of Elections has removed the voter enrollment books that it had posted online, which had included every registered voter’s full name, party affiliation and home address.
The books, spanning thousands of pages in searchable PDF format, were quietly posted in February, the first time they had been available on the Board of Elections website. Officials said the online publication was necessary given changes to election law at the state level.
But after a series of news reports regarding the decision, some election and privacy experts warned that it could make sensitive personal information too readily available. And officials including Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, Mayor Bill de Blasio and the New York City Council speaker, Corey Johnson, warned that the decision to publish the books could undermine public trust in the electoral process and jeopardize the security of voter information.
By Tuesday, the voter rolls had been removed from the Board of Elections’ website. Michael Ryan, the board’s executive director, said the board had made the decision during a conference call on Monday, partly in response to public outrage following the media reports.