SALT LAKE CITY -- If House Bill 304 becomes law, it will privatize the birth date and birth month of a registered voter.
Bountiful resident Ron Mortensen attended the House Government Operations Committee meeting Thursday in support of the bill, saying afterward that under current voter registration rules, "A person has to choose between their right to privacy and their right to vote."
Rep. Becky Edwards, R-Bountiful, the bill's sponsor, said her constituents asked her to present the bill this session.
The committee adjourned before it could take action, because it had run out of time. The bill will be back on the committee's agenda Monday.
Currently when a person registers to vote, they have to list the last four digits of their Social Security number and their driver's license number, which are kept private. But birth date, month and year and the voter's address are considered public information.
"This leaves our voters open for ID theft," Edwards said. HB 304 would keep the birth year public, but not the day or month.
Edwards said there are legitimate reasons why someone would want the information. Groups, such as political parties and marketing agencies, do not want the birth year privatized.
Rep. Douglas Sagers, R-Tooele, said, "It just doesn't feel right" for the voter's information to be available for sale for marketing purposes.
Another bill that would privatize some voter information has made it through the Senate and is now on the House calendar. Senate Bill 18, sponsored by Sen. Margaret Dayton, R-Orem, would make online registration information private. An amendment was made to Dayton's bill while it was on the House floor that would also make the birth information private.
Edwards said Dayton would like to run the bills separately.