Hundreds of thousands Washington voters have social security digits, other info released in error

FILE - Vote-by-mail ballots are shown in sorting trays on Aug. 5, 2020, at the King County...
FILE - Vote-by-mail ballots are shown in sorting trays on Aug. 5, 2020, at the King County Elections headquarters in Renton, Wash., south of Seattle.(The Associated Press)
Published: Jan. 20, 2023 at 9:24 AM PST
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TACOMA, Wash. (KPTV) - The Pierce County Auditor’s Office in Washington inadvertently disclosed the personal information of thousands of voters last December as a result of an error, according to FOX 13 Seattle.

The auditor’s office claims to have received a request from a “local individual” for public voter registration data, including voter names, addresses, and birthdays, which the office states is safe to give as public information. By accident, a member of the auditor’s staff divulged the final four digits of voters’ Social Security numbers.

Voter registration information is protected, but under state and federal law, some of it must be made available in response to public records requests.

The last four digits of a person’s Social Security Number (SSN) or the number on their driver’s license must be provided as identification while registering to vote.

According to officials, the person who requested the information purportedly deleted the records from their email’s inbox and trash folder.

The auditor’s office sent emails to everyone who was affected, however, it is unknown precisely how many people had their SSNs compromised. People concerned about identity theft were encouraged to monitor account statements, insurance transactions, and request free credit reports for everyone who may have been impacted.