April 27th, 2012|
Copies of disks including records for 13 million Texas voters were handed over to the opposing lawyers in the Texas voter ID case, reports My San Antonio. Half of these records inadvertently contained full Social Security numbers.
The voter ID case is a pending law that would require Texas voters to show government-issued photo identification before casting ballots.
Texas was ordered to give the lawyers challenging the voter ID law a voter database for analysis, and that is when the Social Security numbers’ slip occurred.
The State Attorney General’s (SAG) office mistakenly believed the database maintained by the Secretary of State’s office included only the last four digits of voters’ Social Security numbers.
Emphasizing that the copies of the disk were under a protective order, the office gave the records to the opposing lawyers on password-protected, encrypted disks.
The SAG office learned on April 12 that the full Social Security numbers were included on the disks for some voters. At that point, the office dispatched state police officers to New York, Washington, and Boston to retrieve the disks.
The state has provided new disks to the lawyers.
On Wednesday, the SAG office said that the information never was exposed publicly, “At no time were these Social Security numbers exposed to the public. No one was ever at risk.”