- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 22, 2015

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) - The Dona Ana County clerk says his office is implementing safeguards for voters’ sensitive information in response to an alleged identity theft and check cashing scheme.

Clerk Lynn Ellins said Tuesday the changes include restricting employee work outside of regular office hours, locking up paper records and obscuring Social Security from computer screens showing search results.

The steps were recommended by a task force formed in response to criminal charges alleging that individuals, including several county employees, accessed records in the Clerk’s Office to engage in identity theft to fraudulently obtain and cash tax refund checks.

Ellins said he also is upgrading video surveillance and workplace-monitoring systems and implementing a rigorous annual training program on ethics, safe practices and keeping the public trust.

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