Tom Evslin asks: “VoterStory.org – What is the Story?” This site is asking citizens to keep an eye on electronic voting machines tomorrow, Election Day.
Specifically: Tom wants to know who’s getting the data the site seeks from voters, who’s keeping it and for how long. He notes that
there’s a lot of personal information requested here. It’s not inappropriate information – there has to a way to follow up on a complaint; but you should never give information like this unless you know whom it’s going to and how it’s going to be used.
And the site’s disclosure policy is absurdly broad —
“By providing information, you consent to and authorize VoterStory.org (and its affiliates), and the voter protection organizations with which VoterStory.org may share such information, to disclose your identity and the other information provided by you and to use your story, including your identity, in any manner VoterStory.org and/or such other organizations deem appropriate in connection with the protection of voter rights.”
I’d held off posting a link to this initiative because I had some of the same questions in my own mind. Tom went the extra step and made the phone calls.
We still don’t have complete answers, but this is a great example of a citizen who’s doing the journalism the professionals have not done. VoterStory may be a terrific initiative, but we still don’t have enough information — and the day before the election is awfully late for these folks to start being transparent.