SALT LAKE CITY -- A Roy lawmaker doesn't think the state should be a partner in aiding identity thieves by selling current voter registration information, including emails and birth dates.
Rep. Richard Greenwood, R-Roy, moved to amend a bill Monday to make government records less accessible to outside companies and entities.
Senate Bill 18 would have protected emails, but Greenwood's amendment in a House Government Operations Standing Committee extended that to include birth dates.
The bill cleared the House committee by a 7-3 vote and will now be addressed by the full House.
Top of Utah Reps. Curt Oda, R-Clearfield, and Brad Galvez, R-West Haven, supported the measure.
Mark Thomas, director of elections, said the state regularly sells information from voter registration records.
Sen. Margaret Dayton, R-Orem, pushed the original bill to protect emails but suggested separate legislation would be crafted later this session to address the issue of birth dates.
That wasn't soon enough for Greenwood.
He suggests the birth dates on voter registration have more value to identity thieves than emails.
Community activist Ron Mortensen, of Bountiful, applauds Greenwood's move to include birth dates under protected information but predicts the bill will face major hurdles.
He said both major parties in the state use the birth date information to their own benefit and that the only way citizens can protect that information, under existing guidelines, is to cancel their voter registration.
"The state shouldn't be making the person choose between the right to privacy and the right to vote," Mortensen said.
He held up a small mailer for scooters for the elderly and said the company involved in the mailing knew his age from his voter registration.