In response to your May 30 editorial (“A vote against openness”), there is no question that openness and transparency in government help to assure confidence in public officials in the exercise of their duties. Both elected and appointed officials should be accountable to the people.
However, government also has a responsibility to protect citizens from harm whenever it is possible and when it is in service to the common good. We are fortunate to have regulations that do just that.
For example, all the consumer protection standards that are in place serve to protect us from nefarious business practices by unscrupulous perpetrators. We need these kinds of shields to guard against being victimized.
What was sorely missing in your editorial is Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea’s valiant efforts to protect voters from becoming victims of identity theft. We have all heard the horror stories that result from this scurrilous crime. Gorbea deserves our support and gratitude for standing up for us in this situation.
While there is a discrepancy between the U.S. Census numbers and voter registration numbers that must be reconciled, exposing the actual birth dates of voters is a reckless and unwarranted invasion of privacy. The more specific information that identity thieves have on us, the more likely we will be victimized. Why open that door?
J. Clement Cicilline
The writer is chair of the Newport Democratic City Committee.