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August 24, 2001
6:49 AM   Subscribe

The Web site Registered to Vote or Not? lets you search New York's voter registration database using a last name and birthday to see the address and party you are registered under. It also doesn't do anything to stop you from looking up Sarah Jessica Parker, Matthew Broderick, Woody Allen, Spike Lee, Monica Lewinsky and countless others.
posted by rcade (16 comments total)

 
New York City, not state...
posted by machaus at 7:00 AM on August 24, 2001


hacked? oopsie.
posted by Sapphireblue at 7:05 AM on August 24, 2001


The main URL of the site includes the most recent guestbook entries on the front page with any HTML or JavaScript the submitter has included. As a result, all kinds of mayhem is taking place.
posted by rcade at 7:13 AM on August 24, 2001


how not to operate a website: a 2-part guide.
posted by moz at 7:15 AM on August 24, 2001


It's not accurate. The voting information contained therein is at least two years old. It does not show my most current voting record.
posted by Mo Nickels at 7:18 AM on August 24, 2001


Registration record, mind.
posted by Mo Nickels at 7:19 AM on August 24, 2001


oooh. not hacked then, only badly planned. also an oopsie, but a different one than I originally thought.
posted by Sapphireblue at 7:26 AM on August 24, 2001


Address and -party- you're registered under? They keep tabs on which party you voted for? Surely not. Doesn't sound much like a secret ballot to me.
posted by wackybrit at 8:25 AM on August 24, 2001


There's an article on the NYTimes website about his very issue (voter information, not bad HTML) available here [registration required, you know the drill].

This reminds me of how Allegheny County, PA (Pittsburgh) put their property reevaluation information (values, pictures, etc.) online, which meant that you could see where Mario Lemieux or former Penguins goalie Tom Barrasso live or the house where the movie Wonder Boys was filmed. (Normally there are pictures available for all the houses, but their picture database looks to be down at the moment....)

There was a bit of a stink raised when this information first became available online (people were looking up the mayor's house, etc.), but it's died down. Do other cities do this?
posted by arco at 8:25 AM on August 24, 2001


Address and -party- you're registered under? They keep tabs on which party you voted for? Surely not. Doesn't sound much like a secret ballot to me.

The ballot is secret, but the party you indicated when you registered to vote is not. In some states, you can only vote in a primary if you are registered as a member of that party.
posted by rcade at 8:48 AM on August 24, 2001


I love "What others are saying:" (normally used on a site for ringing endorsements, not critical slams)

LISSETTE M, on 11 STREET says, "Please take my information off your website. I have had problems in the past and do not want my address posted. This does not encourage me to vote at all. Please, please take my information off!!!!!!!"

REBECCA M, on LAFAYETTE AVENUE says, "I'm not especially comfortable with my personal information being so easily available in public."

STEPHANIE M, on ELVIN STREET says, "I want my name and address removed from this site. It is disturbing that anyone can get access to this personal information"
posted by msacheson at 9:06 AM on August 24, 2001


Did they change it? It just shows my borough and ZIP code and party affiliation. Big deal — this information and more is publically available anyway.
posted by nicwolff at 9:42 AM on August 24, 2001


It did change ... earlier today it listed full addresses.
posted by rcade at 10:01 AM on August 24, 2001


The ballot is secret, but the party you indicated when you registered to vote is not. In some states, you can only vote in a primary if you are registered as a member of that party.

Thanks for that info.. that is a really really weird way of going about things.
posted by wackybrit at 2:25 PM on August 24, 2001


Actually, it makes some sense. The purpose of a primary election is for the members of one party to choose their eventual candidate in the general election -- who will run against the candidate(s) selected by the other parties' members.

So it's only fair that, say, registered Democrats be the only people who are allowed to choose the Democratic nominee for an office. Especially since it isn't binding in the general election -- your votes aren't tracked and you may vote for whomever you please.
posted by Vidiot at 10:54 PM on August 25, 2001


I don't think it's a fairness issue. If people are willing to leave their normal party affiliation behind and vote in another party's primary, as many people did in states where John McCain was successful, I think it helps American politics. One of the more amusing aspects of the last election was hardcore Republicans getting so angry about thousands of new voters coming to their primary.
posted by rcade at 5:55 AM on August 26, 2001


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