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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis thesis examines conflicts concerning public access to government records. By examining the beginning, evolution and current state of public records access in America, and specifically in Arizona, this thesis explores the question, "How much access to personal information contained in government records is too much?" It is my thesis that American democracy cannot survive without open government records. Open government records, including voter records, educational records, motor vehicle records, property tax records and real estate records, allow citizens to keep informed concerning government matters and to oversee the conduct of government employees and elected officials. American democracy is based upon this oversight by citizens. Without public access to government records, the principles of democracy would be undermined and freedoms eroded. This thesis concludes that the citizen's right to know, though not a constitutional right, is a right that Americans must protect to ensure a strong democracy.
Degree ProgramGraduate College