Lawmakers were alarmed on Super Tuesday when the state’s overburdened online polling place finder tool redirected Minnesota voters to the website of a progressive advocacy group for 17 minutes during the March 3 presidential primary.
During that time, 69 Minnesota voters gave their e-mail addresses to the group, BoldProgressives.org, which was backing Elizabeth Warren. In the aftermath, Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon, who attributed the mistake to a tech’s “lapse of judgment,” says the group has since agreed to delete the e-mail addresses.
Testifying before the Senate’s Government and Elections Committee last week, Simon said his office will verify that the data is wiped out.
But while the breach is being rectified, committee chairwoman Mary Kiffmeyer, a Big Lake Republican senator and former secretary of state, called into question the poll-finder’s ability to perform without error during the coming August primary and the November general election.
“Without question, what happened was really sad because it tainted the whole day,” Kiffmeyer said.
Other Republican senators called on Simon to outline disciplinary steps taken against the employee, whom Simon described previously as an IT worker. Simon said his office was evaluating disciplinary options but added: “This is on me. … This was an error of expediency, not one of malice.”