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New ACLU suit claims Kobach exposed private data about voters using verification program

Posted: 11:55 AM, Jun 19, 2018
Updated: 2018-06-19 12:55:08-04

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Private information about nearly 1,000 registered Kansas voters became public because of a program the state uses to verify voters, according to a lawsuit the American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas filed Tuesday. 

The suit, Moore vs. Kobach, focuses on a program named Crosscheck that the Kansas Secretary of State's office oversees. It compares registered voters from multiple states who have the same name and exact birth date to determine if they are registered in multiple states. 

"[Kobach] implemented Crosscheck in the most reckless way imaginable," said ACLU of Kansas Executive Director Micah Kubic. "In ways that break the law, and in ways that put every single Kansas registered voter at risk for identity theft."

The suit claims in 2013, Kansas emailed a list of 945 people to Florida to find out whether any of the people were registered in both states. The email was not encrypted, making the information on all 945 voters publicly accessible. The ACLU said that put those people at risk for identity theft, although it has not proven any one of those 945 identities has been stolen. 

Scott Moore of Mission Hills was one of the 945 Kansans on the list. He didn't find out about the issue until 2018. 

"In my opinion, it looked like they were trying to sweep this under the rug. Make this go away, that it never happened, no one probably got hacked and let's move on. We don't agree with that," said Moore. "There are enough stories out there about hacking in the world. We believe at least putting a minimum layer of protection on it would be not too much to ask."

Now Moore is the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit asking a federal judge to force Kansas to stop using the Crosscheck program until the state can implement more safeguards to better protect the privacy of voters. 

Secretary of State Kris Kobach's office has not responded to the lawsuit.