A Lancaster County elections office employee improperly disclosed a primary election candidate’s personal information, which was later posted on Facebook to question the candidate’s partisan affiliation, according to a Lancaster County elections official.
In an April 16 comment on a Facebook post, Cocalico Area Republican Committee Chair Seeran Mizii posted a photo that showed Lorenzo Bonura voter’s information. The image was from a computer program that’s only viewable by county and state elections officials.
Bonura is running for East Cocalico Township supervisor against endorsed candidate Kathleen O’Connell. Mizii posted Bonura’s voter information to highlight the fact that Bonura switched his registration to Republican from Democrat on the day before he filed for the supervisor race.
Most of the information revealed in the Facebook post is publicly available through the state’s Right-to-Know law. The image posted by Mizii redacted Bonura’s Social Security and Pennsylvania driver’s license number, but his signature was still visible.
Christa Miller, chief clerk of the board of elections, said that the office generally does not release the signature and the employee who gave the image to Mizii was reminded of that policy after the matter was brought to Miller’s attention.
Mizii could not be reached for comment.
Melissa Melewsky, media law counsel at the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association, said that while Social Security and driver’s license numbers are prohibited from release under federal and state law, signatures are a gray area. They are not specifically exempted under the Pennsylvania Right-to-Know Act, although the state’s Office of Open Records has sometimes allowed them to be redacted when agencies argue that their release could lead to fraud.
Lancaster County District Attorney Heather Adams said that her office investigated the matter and determined there was no criminal wrongdoing.
Bonura said he was concerned by the breach. “I have my concerns … because I’m a business owner and complete strangers have my (information),” he said.