Voting records are public, but not in the way you think. Many states only let certain people access it or require applications to access voting records because they contain sensitive information. Each state varies significantly in terms of the information contained in voting records and how public voting records are. All states do allow some kind of access to voting records.
What Information Is in Voting Records?
Your voting record, at a minimum, will contain your name, address, and your party affiliation if you have one. It may contain additional information, like:
- Passport number
- Driver’s license
- Past Addresses
- Parents’ names
- Voting district
- Phone number
- Email address
- If you previously had a different party affiliation
- Voting assistance requirements
- Last jury duty service
- Prior felony convictions
Which pieces of additional information appear on your voting record will depend on your state and what information you have given them.
Can I Request My Voting Records Be Private?
Only five states allow you to request that your voting record be kept private. Some states will allow certain people to keep their voting records private, so the identifying information is not used maliciously. The list of people will vary between states but often includes law enforcement and their spouse, crime victims, and domestic violence victims. Some states also keep voting records of foster parents and reproductive medical professionals private too.
Who Can Access My Voting Records?
This again will vary between states. Most states allow government officials, law enforcement officers, and political parties to access the information for official purposes. In some states, journalists and businesses can access voting records too. A small number of states allow members of the public to access voting records too.
Check your state guidelines for who can access voting records in your state and the process for accessing them.