I’m telling you, it is getting hard to keep up with these dumbasses. Dispatch: Blackwell?s Web site lists Social Security numbers:

A link on the government Web site of Ohio Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell contains hundreds of Social Security numbers and birth dates on public documents stored there.

The personal data are listed on nationally standardized forms submitted by citizens and corporations could be mined by any identity thief with Internet access.

I wish I were kidding. Even worse, was the response:

Because the forms are public documents, the secretary’s office is bound by law to display them as submitted and cannot redact any of the information, Blackwell spokesman James Lee said last night.

“We may not alter it in any way.” Lee said.

But Ohioans should know that Social Security numbers are not required when using that particular form in this state, Lee said.

Again, wish I were kidding. So it’s the citizen’s fault you don’t seek to protect their private data? [buzzer sound] Wrong answer!

Dem response after the break…


Secretary of State?s Web Site Fails to Protect Ohioans? From Identity Theft

(Cleveland) As Ohio ranks 47th in the nation in job creation, one area in which Ohio Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell should be focusing is creating systems that provide opportunities for entrepreneurs. Instead, Blackwell has been creating opportunities for identity thieves who cost taxpaying Ohioans untold sums of money, time and aggravation every year.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Bryan Flannery responded to security concerns with the Ohio Secretary of State web site. ?It is a known fact that identity thieves can destroy both credit histories and lives. In this age of technology, there is absolutely no excuse for inferior electronic security or sloppy management of sensitive personal data. I am appalled at the handling of this type of material shown by Blackwell and his office. This is a prime example of the lack of protection that Ohioans have received from our Secretary of State.?

Flannery continued, ?How can we expect Blackwell to mind the store when he?s already given criminals the keys to the shop? Ohio can no longer afford to entrust the state to the incompetent, the corrupt or the inexperienced. Ohio needs a governor who will keep a watchful eye on the security of Ohioans and our businesses, not one who has already demonstrated that he will leave us vulnerable to criminals.?

?While information security will be a priority in the Flannery Administration, we cannot wait until January 2007 to correct this egregious oversight?, said Flannery. ?I am calling on Ken Blackwell to take immediate steps to keep the sensitive data of our citizens and our businesses secure instead of making it accessible to anyone in the world who has a computer.”



Jennifer Brunner, the Democratic candidate for Ohio Secretary of State, in reaction to an article published in today?s Cincinnati Enquirer on his state office website, said ?Just wait until Ohioans have to provide the last four digits of their social security number to be able to vote absentee or a provisional ballot, and watch the mess unfold.?

?The Secretary of State?s office is the centralized keeper of information for the State of Ohio. It?s imperative that Ohioans? private information be kept safely. The Secretary of State is responsible for maintaining the business and voting records of the state. Perhaps if the Ohio Secretary of State minded the business of taking care of the state?s records and elections instead of campaigning for issues and other candidates, Ohio citizens might not be living in fear of identity theft,? said Brunner.

?This private information has been subject to public disclosure has jeopardized the privacy of countless law abiding Ohio citizens, subjecting them to being preyed upon by identity thieves. With the haphazard practices of the current Secretary of State, when H.B. 3 takes effect, will this number increase to hundreds of thousands of Ohioans?? said Brunner.

Brunner cited two new laws:

– H.B. 234, requiring for absentee ballots either a copy of a photo identification or other supporting document (such as a bank statement or utility bill) or divulging the last four digits of an individual?s social security number, which took effect in January, and

– H.B. 3, requiring the same kind of identification for in-person voting at the polls, except a partial security number is necessary to vote a provisional ballot (not a regular ballot) if other forms of identification are not available, which provisions take effect June 1, 2006.

Jennifer Brunner, a former Franklin County Common Pleas Court Judge, is a Democratic candidate for Ohio Secretary of State. She is recognized statewide for her expertise and experience in election law, and she was a Deputy Director and Legislative Counsel in the Ohio Secretary of State?s office.

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