Former Ohio official who accidentally released Social Security numbers is on Trump’s voter fraud panel
The Republican gubernatorial primary was just weeks away, and then-Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell had his sights set on securing the nomination.
Blackwell had served as mayor of Cincinnati and state treasurer before becoming Ohio’s top elections official, so a bid for governor in 2006 seemed a logical next step in his political career.
But in March of that year, his office caused a stir: The full Social Security numbers of 1.2 million Ohio voters were posted accidentally on the secretary of state’s website.
A month later, in a separate incident, Blackwell’s office inadvertently distributed voter lists with the Social Security numbers of 5.7 million voters. The numbers, by law, are supposed to remain private.
Blackwell, 69, has been tapped to serve on the Trump administration’s bipartisan voter fraud commission, an endeavor election officials nationwide have called a waste of time.
The panel, officially called the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, asked secretaries of state nationwide to provide voters’ personal information, including names, addresses and the last four digits of Social Security numbers. The commission has faced intense pushback from both Democrats and Republicans, while a watchdog group has filed a lawsuit arguing the commission’s request breaches privacy laws.