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Personal information on voters in 40 states is readily available to online searchers, sometimes including home addresses, voting history and race.

That was what Aki Peritz, a former CIA counterterrorism analyst, found when he tapped into the online voter registration systems in all the states and Washington, D.C.

In an op-ed for the Washington Post, he said North Carolina makes the most personal information available. Searchers need enter only a first and last name, and the State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement will furnish a home address, voting status, voter registration number, party, race, ethnicity, registration date, polling place and a complete voting record. Other states that reveal large amounts of personal information include Kansas, Montana, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Washington and Wisconsin.

"There is certainly a transparency-in-government argument to be made in making this data available to the public. Maybe having this information in the wild, for anyone to view, doesn't seem worrisome; after all, some addresses and phone numbers are still in the phone book, assuming you can find one," Peritz wrote. "It's nonetheless troubling because an individual can opt out of the telephone directory, but one can't opt out of being in the official voter database, unless a voter deliberately chooses not to ever vote again. Millions of American voters shouldn't have to disenfranchise them

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Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a trio of democracy reform bills this week.

California governor signs three political reform bills

California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law on Tuesday three democracy reform bills focused on local redistricting, voting access and campaign contributions.

The first piece of legislation prohibits partisan gerrymandering at the local level by establishing criteria for cities and counties to use when adjusting district boundaries. While California is the largest state to use an independent redistricting commission to draw its congressional and state district maps, local districts did not have the same regulations.

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Gov. Ralph Northam used his executive authority to restore voting rights for felons, noting that Virginia is among the states that permanently strips such rights after a felony conviction.

Virginia governor restores voting rights to over 22,000 felons

More than 22,000 Virginians with felony convictions have regained the right to vote thanks to executive actions taken by Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam since he took office in January 2018, his office announced this week.

In a statement, Northam's office said he has so far restored the civil rights of 22,205 people who had been convicted of felonies and have since completed their sentences. Those civil rights include the right to vote as well as the right to serve on juries, run for public office and become a notary public.

Northam previously announced in February that nearly 11,000 convicted felons had their voting rights restored under his watch.

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