WAILUKU, Maui — A group gathering signatures for an initiative to ban genetically modified organisms on Maui is being criticized for posting private voter information on its website.
The group, called SHAKA Movement, told the Maui News that it did not intend to make the information public. The group says it wants to share the information with people gathering signatures to get an anti-GMO county initiative on the November ballot.
Maui County spokesman Rod Antone said he received complaints and saw his own voter information posted online. The posted information included voters’ addresses.
“I don’t think this was a deliberate attempt to not obey the laws,” Antone said. “I think they made a mistake, and they corrected it very quickly.”
The group’s use of the voter data, intended only for use by its petitioners, is a “legal use,” Douglas said. The list was purchased in February from the Maui County Clerk for $50, he said.
SHAKA spokesman Bruce Douglas blames pro-GMO bloggers for hacking into the group’s computers to make the voter information public.
“They have their snoops. They have their spies,” Douglas said.
SHAKA also was criticized for paying petitioners $5 for each signature they gathered. Organizers were trying to reward their hard-working volunteers with the payments, Douglas said.