Utah Department of Administrative Services

Division of Archives & Records Service

State Records Committee Appeal 2006-08

BEFORE THE STATE RECORDS COMMITTEE OF THE STATE OF UTAH

JOYCELYN STRAIGHT, Petitioner, vs.

LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR'S OFFICE, Respondent.

DECISION AND ORDER

Case No. 06-08

By this appeal, Joycelyn Straight seeks access to records of Utah voter registrations held by the Lieutenant Governor's Office and waiver of the fees for obtaining said records. The State Records Committee, having reviewed the materials submitted by the parties, and having heard oral argument and testimony on September 14, 2006, now issues the following Decision and Order.

STATEMENT OF REASONS FOR DECISION

1. The Government Records Access and Management Act ("GRAMA") specifies that "all records are public unless otherwise expressly provided by statute." Utah Code Ann. 63-2-201(2). Records that are not public are designated as either "private," "protected," or "controlled." See Utah Code Ann. 63-2-302, -303 and -304. The Utah Lieutenant Governor's Office denied Ms. Strait the records she seeks on the grounds that said records are "Private".

The Utah Lieutenant Governor's Office further denied the fee waiver requested by Ms. Strait.

2. The Committee is persuaded that under Utah Code Ann 63-2-203(4) the fee charged to Ms. Strait is valid and Respondent may charge a reasonable fee. The Committee is further persuaded that voter registration records are "Public" records as defined by Utah Code Annotated 63-2-301(2)(l) (2006) , and the sole exceptions to this specific classification is contained in Utah Code Annotated 63-2-302(1)(i). The committee is persuaded, and the respondent acknowledges that voter history is properly classified as "Public" and shall be provided at no further cost to Petitioner as it was omitted in the prior release of records to Ms. Strait. The Committee is persuaded that birth date records are properly classified as "public" and shall be provided as they are not specifically exempted in Utah Code Ann. '63-2-302 (1)(i).

3. The Utah Lieutenant Governor's Office has therefore improperly classified the birth date portion of the voter registration records in question as "Private" under Utah Code Ann. 63-2-302(1)(i).

ORDER

THEREFORE, IT IS ORDERED THAT the appeal of Joycelyn Straight is denied as to the waiver of fees and confirmed as to the voter history and birth dates contained in the voter registry. Petitioner shall be granted access to the voter history information contained in the voter registration records at no additional cost. Petitioner shall also be granted access to birth date information contained in the voter registration records under Utah Code Ann. 63-2-301(2)(l).

RIGHT TO APPEAL

Either party may appeal this Decision and Order to the District Court. The petition for review must be filed no later than thirty (30) days after the date of this order. The petition for judicial review must be a complaint. The complaint and the appeals process are governed by the Utah Rules of Civil Procedure and Utah Code Ann. 63-2-404. The court is required to make its decision de novo. In order to protect its rights on appeal, a party may wish to seek advice from an attorney.

Entered this 21st day of September, 2006.

BY THE STATE RECORDS COMMITTEE

Patricia Smith Mansfield, Chairperson
State Records Committee