Sanders, DNC reach agreement on voter file access

19 Dec 2015 | By Vijaya

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) agreed to allow Bernie Sanders campaign to regain access to voter files, after a day of conflict and litigation between the two.

Sanders's campaign said the DNC had "capitulated" and that Sanders would soon regain access to the critically-important voter database.

DNC though, said what happened was "completely unacceptable" and that it would continue to investigate the circumstances.

In context: The feud between DNC and Bernie Sanders

Democratic Party presidential candidates

Hillary Clinton, the former US Secretary of State, Bernie Sanders, the Senator from Vermont, and Martin O'Malley, the former Governor of Maryland are the three Democratic Party presidential candidates for the 2016 US presidential election.

NGP What is NGP VAN?

NGP VAN (Voter Access Network) is a data technology company that allows campaigns to view a whole host of information about voters across the country who voted for Democrats in the past.

DNC owns the basic voter file, which it shares with primary candidates running as Democrats.

This includes all three presidential candidates and others running for lower offices on national and state levels.

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18 Dec 2015Sanders campaign staffers accesses Clinton voter data

A staffer or several staffers on Bernie Sanders campaign was able to improperly access Hillary Clinton voter data due to a security glitch on Democratic National Committee's (DNC) system.

The breach occurred when the vendor, NGP VAN, which supplies access to the database of voter information for both campaigns dropped the firewall, and at least one Sanders campaign staffer accessed Clinton campaign voter data.

NGP VAN firewall protects each campaign models

Though all the Presidential Campaigns share the basic voter file, NGP VAN puts up firewalls between them so each campaign doesn’t have access to the other’s modeling.

18 Dec 2015DNC cuts off access to Sanders campaign

DNC cut off Sanders campaign's access to the voter files after it was revealed that Sanders campaign staffers had improperly accessed confidential data belonging to the Clinton campaign.

DNC announced that it'd end the suspension once it became clear that Sander's campaign had not used the information in any way.

Clinton campaign responded angrily to the breach, claiming the access amounted to "theft".

18 Dec 2015Sanders sues DNC over data access

In response to DNC's move, that suspended data access, Sanders campaign filed suit against the DNC in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, seeking to restore its access.

Without access to the data, Sanders campaign officials said they can't perform basic functions like identifying supporters.

The political brawl came just a day before the much anticipated third Democratic presidential debate.

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19 Dec 2015Sanders, DNC reach agreement on voter file access