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Last 4 digits of some Pierce County voters social security numbers mistakenly shared with public records requester

The Pierce County Auditor's Office said they are working with the requester to delete the data from their email account and trash bin.

PIERCE COUNTY, Wash. — Some voters in Pierce County were notified via letter Thursday that the last four digits of their social security numbers were mistakenly shared with someone requesting voter registration data. 

The data originally requested included voters' addresses, birthdates and names, which are considered public information. 

When fulfilling the request on Dec. 20, 2022, an employee from the Pierce County Auditor's Office mistakenly shared a spreadsheet with the requester that included the last four digits of more than 460,000 voters' social security numbers.

After the staff member immediately recognized their error, the Pierce County Auditor's Office worked with the requester to delete the data from their email account and trash bin, according to the letter. The data was deleted within two hours of when the spreadsheet was shared. The requester has been "fully cooperative" with the investigation. 

The auditor's office said there was no "widespread" dissemination of the information and the person who requested the original data did not copy or retain any of the data. 

"This kind of mistake has never happened before, and we have enhanced our protocols to prevent this kind of mistake from occurring again," the letter reads. 

While the auditor's office confirmed the data was not retained or copied, they encouraged those impacted to always remain vigilant and monitor account statements, insurance transactions and credit reports for fraud or identity theft. 

"Please accept our apology for any inconvenience or concern this lapse has created," the letter read. "We hold our staff and systems to the highest standards and regret that this error occurred." 

Those with questions are encouraged to contact the Pierce County Auditor's Office.

KING 5 has reached out to the auditor's office to see how many voters were impacted.

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