Voter File FOIA

Andrew Goodrich filed this request with the Elections Division (Secretary of State) of Massachusetts.
Est. Completion None
Status
Fix Required

Communications

From: Andrew Goodrich

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the Massachusetts Public Records Law, M.G.L. c.66, §10, I hereby request the following records:

List of what organizations, corporations, or other groups are able to have access to the voter file.

I also request that, if appropriate, fees be waived as we believe this request is in the public interest, as suggested but not stipulated by the recommendations of the Massachusetts Supervisor of Public Records. The requested documents will be made available to the general public free of charge as part of the public information service at MuckRock.com, processed by a representative of the news media/press and is made in the process of news gathering and not for commercial usage.

I expect the request to be filled in an accessible format, including for screen readers, which provide text-to-speech for persons unable to read print. Files that are not accessible to screen readers include, for example, .pdf image files as well as physical documents.

In the event that fees cannot be waived, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 10 calendar days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,

Andrew Goodrich

From: Murray, Rebecca (SEC)

Good Afternoon Mr. Goodrich:

Your public records request has been forwarded to me for response. Specifically, you are requesting a list of organizations, corporations, or other groups that are able to have access to the voter file.

As you may be aware, access to the statewide database of registered voters from this Office is limited by state law. Under the provisions of section 47C of chapter 51 of the General Laws, the names and addresses contained in the statewide database “shall not be a matter of public record; provided however, that they shall be available to state party committees, statewide candidate committees, state ballot question committees, the jury commissioner, adjutant general and any other individual, agency or entity that the state secretary shall designate by regulation consistent with the purposes of this section, at a fair and reasonable cost not to exceed the cost of printing or preparing computer readable documents.” Further, any person or organization qualifying to receive the data from this Office must execute a licensing agreement.

Accordingly, the information you are seeking is contained in the form of signed licensing agreements, each of which is comprised of three pages of paper records. As the database was created in 1995, the records you are seeking extend back to that time and are voluminous. We are therefore asking you to confirm the dates for which you are seeking records. Upon receipt of your revised request, we will determine the number of responsive records and provide you with a fee estimate in accordance with the provisions of the Massachusetts Public Records Law. 950 C.M.R. 32.06.

Please note, we received a similar request for records from January 2012 through September 2014, which resulted in 50 licensing agreements, each consisting of three pages, for a total of one-hundred fifty (150) pages, copied in compliance with the fees permitted by the Public Records Law at the rate of $.20 per page for a total of $30.00.

Sincerely,

Rebecca S. Murray
Assistant Director/Associate Legal Counsel
NVRA Coordinator
Elections Division
One Ashburton Place, Room 1705
Boston, Massachusetts 02108
Phone: 617-727-2828
Fax: 617-742-3238

From: Andrew Goodrich

Rebecca S. Murray
Assistant Director/Associate Legal Counsel,

Thank you for taking the time to respond to our request. I will be more clear with what we are seeking. All we would like to know are the names of people and state committees and any other groups that were granted access to the Massachusetts voter file just for the election year 2014. We understand that the file is limited to certain parties as you stated, we are seeking to know which parties requested and were granted access this year. I see in your letter that you have already complied a similar request from 2012-2014 and it would cost $30. If that data is already pulled, we would be happy to pay the fee and request those documents for efficiency.

Thank you and have a wonderful day.

Andrew Goodrich

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on Nov. 24, 2014. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed.

Thank you for your help.

From: Murray, Rebecca (SEC)

Good Morning Mr. Goodrich,

Once we receive your payment of $30.00 we can provide you with the requested licensing agreements from January 2012 through September 2014. Please make checks payable to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. If you have any questions, please let me know.

Have a great day,

Rebecca S. Murray
Assistant Director/Associate Legal Counsel
NVRA Coordinator
Elections Division
One Ashburton Place, Room 1705
Boston, Massachusetts 02108
Phone: 617-727-2828
Fax: 617-742-3238

From: Andrew Goodrich

I was wondering with changes to the public records law if there is still a $30 fee to get this information.

From: O'Malley, Debra (SEC)

Good Afternoon,

Your email regarding a previous request for records has been forwarded to me for response. As I expect that the time that it would take to comply with your request would not exceed 4 hours, there would now be no charge for the records you previously requested.

If you are interested in copies of the licensing agreements, please specify the time period of the records you are requesting, if it has changed since your previous request.

I look forward to hearing from you.
Regards,
Debra O’Malley
Elections Division
Secretary of the Commonwealth
(617) 727-2828

From: Andrew Goodrich

Debra,

Thank you for your reply. I appreciate your help with this matter. As for the request itself, I would be interested in changing the dates from my original request dates of January 2012 through September 2014, to instead January 2014, to May 2017. Also if it's easier I am not even interested in the entire agreements, just the names of the entities that have received the agreements if that is faster to access. If that would be faster to access than trying to get all of the agreements that would certainly suffice.

Andrew

From: O'Malley, Debra (SEC)

Hello,

We currently have 62 PDFs of scanned licensing agreements which would fall under the scope of your request. I believe that the easiest way to provide these records would be on a disc. Please let me know if you would like a disc mailed to you, if you would prefer to pick it up from our office, or if you would prefer to receive printed versions of the licensing agreements instead.

If you choose to receive these records by mail, please also be sure to provide your preferred mailing address.

Thank you,
Debra O’Malley
Elections Division
Secretary of the Commonwealth
(617) 727-2828

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