Newspaper sues Rhode Island for access to voter database

February 1, 2019

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The Providence Journal has filed a lawsuit against Rhode Island Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea, alleging she violated the law by denying the newspaper’s request for a complete digital copy of the state voter database.

In November, Gorbea rejected the request for a digital copy of the database, saying identity theft is a concern for Rhode Island residents “who have made it clear to me they are not comfortable with the disclosure of their full name, full address and full date of birth.”

The Journal reports the accuracy of the database has been called into question.

The newspaper contends voter database disclosures would not infringe privacy laws. The state argues the disclosure of full dates of birth serves no public interest.