The Republican gubernatorial primary was just weeks away, and then-Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell had his sights set on securing the nomination.
Blackwell had served as mayor of Cincinnati and state treasurer before becoming Ohio’s top elections official, so a bid for governor in 2006 seemed a logical next step in his political career.
But in March of that year, his office caused a stir: The full Social Security numbers of 1.2 million Ohio voters were posted accidentally on the secretary of state’s website.
A month later, in a separate incident, Blackwell’s office inadvertently distributed voter lists with the Social Security numbers of 5.7 million voters. The numbers, by law, are supposed to remain private.