Hempstead Town officials responded Monday afternoon to claims made by Steve Anchin, the Democratic candidate for Hempstead Town Clerk, about the town's senior ID program.
The town, along with Town Clerk Mark Bonilla, announced in early October that it had begun offering free identification cards for senior citizens.
Last week, Anchin claimed that the ID cards were "dangerous" due to ever-changing medication and prescription information. But the Town of Hempstead responded Monday by saying that no such information exists on the ID cards, specifically for that reason.
"Because of the reason that senior's medication changes, we did not include that in the program," said Mike Deery, a spokesman for the town. "... It includes emergency contact information, it includes a home address, it includes doctors' names, and family and friends' names for contact. It does not include medication."
The October release from the town said, "In an emergency, a town senior ID card may help medical technicians to quickly determine how to treat a particular person, given their allergies and other related information." However, no information about medication or prescriptions was included in the release.
Anchin said on Monday that the medical information isn't his only concern.
"Of equal concern is that the town clerk has left seniors open to identity theft," he said. "Personal information, birthdate, contacts' information, photo and more are all included on this card. ... An official NYS Non-Driver photo ID is encrypted and cannot be used for identity theft."
Anchin added: "Frankly, the town clerk should admit his mistake, recall all those cards issued and destroy them. There are systems in place for hospitals and doctors to obtain up-to-date medical information during an emergency."