Public records are documents that come from county, state or federal transactions and are accessible to the general public. There are many different kinds of public records in the United States, such as birth certificates, marriage certificates, divorce decrees, mortgages, driving records, criminal records, sex offender records and voter registration records.
Citizens can find voter and election information through all levels of government, including state, county and local. Voting public records consist of voter registration information, election results, polling locations, campaign funding information and contact information for elected officials in each state. Certain states only manage election information pertaining to their state, but generally, most states also handle county and local election information. To learn more about public voting records, check out the sections below.
What information is public?
Basic information that becomes public once you submit a voting registration application may include your full name, home address, date of birth, party affiliation and signature. Some states have exceptions in regard to the personal information they allow to be public information. Identification numbers such as Social Security Numbers and driver’s license numbers are not released as part of public voting records in most states. Additionally, the source of voting registration applications are generally not released or disclosed to the general public.
Who handles voting public records?
Each state differs regarding the agencies that are responsible for managing voter registration information. Some states designate the county clerk’s office as the voting records administrator, while others assign the county auditor or a probate judge.
Who can access voting registration information?
Voting registration information may be accessed either online or by contacting an agency directly, depending on the state you reside in. Voting public records that are available online often only require a name search in order to access personal information. Certain states, however, only provide online public records in relation to election results or polling locations.
How to Keep Your Information Private
Certain states allow citizens to request that the personal information on their voting registrations not be disclosed to the public. In order to restrict voting records from going public, voters must be, or must become, active participants in an Attorney General’s Address Confidentiality Program for victims of domestic violence and stalking. In order to become a participant, contact the Attorney General Office’s Bureau of Advocacy and Grants Management.
Another method citizens can use to ensure that their voting registration information remains private is to submit a written request to any agency that may have access to personal information, such as birth dates, home addresses and personal photos. In order for your written request to be considered, you must belong to a statutorily designated class of high-risk professionals.