You may not know this, but your voter registration information and voting history is maintained by your state as a publicly available voting record.
Voter records normally contain the voter’s name, address, date of birth, citizenship status, identifying information like Social Security or driver’s license number (typically this information is fully or partially redacted in publicly released versions), place of birth (in certain states), party affiliation (in certain states), and a listing of the elections in which the voter participated (not who they voted for, just that they voted), and how they participated (did they vote in a primary, did they vote by mail, etc.).
Although these records are publicly available, there are varying restrictions and associated costs. Here’s a list of current prices:
|Arizona||county purchase based on new statute|
|District of Columbia||$2.00|
|Indiana||$0 (public version - does not include history/DOB/voter ID)/$5,000 (unrestricted version )|
|Iowa||$1,500 for annual subscription/$2,200 for single set (based on # of voters)|
|Nevada||$0 (available online)|
|New Mexico||approx $5,000 (based on number of voter records)|
|Ohio||$0 (available online)|
|Oklahoma||$0 (available online)|
|Texas||approx $1600 +/- (based on number of voter records)|
|Virginia||approx $10,000 per election|
|Washington||$0 (available online)|
|Wyoming||$0 (if emailed)|
States manage the release of data in varying ways including posting online, electronic file transfer, or by sending a CD via standard mail. Check with your Secretary of State’s office to find out more.
Are you ready to become a True the Vote-trained poll watcher? There are 4 steps to get you ready for Election Day.
Step 1: Watch the TTV training video.
Step 3: Connect with your state/local political party of choice and tell them you’re ready to go.
If you are sure you cannot be near your local polling place on Election Day, you may qualify to vote absentee. Absentee voting is mostly conducted before Election Day by mail, though you might also be able to turn in your absentee ballot at your local government offices.
Reasons for voting absentee could be if you are away at college, if you are away for military service, if you are in a medical facility and unable to leave, or if you simply cannot be home on Election Day for other reasons.
In fact, depending on your state statutes, you may be able to vote absentee without any real reason at all — a practice sometimes called no-excuse absentee voting.
One thing is sure though, you must already be registered to vote before you attempt to vote absentee.
Please be sure and visit your local city hall, county government offices, or Office of the Secretary of State’s website as soon as possible to learn what the requirements are in your state.
More information can be found on both your county government’s website as well as your Secretary of State’s website.
In this day when the Internet seems to fill so much of our lives, one might think that voting over the Internet should not only be possible, but would also be a good idea.
There are actually very good reasons why you cannot vote for an elected official over the Internet (except with rare exceptions). Security and fraud are the biggest concerns.
Sadly, there is no way to prevent hacking and fraud with online voting. Imagine a hacker being able to get into an online voting system and flooding the ballot collection program with false votes. With today’s technology it would be hard to stop such a thing.
While voting systems in America do utilize computers and secure connections between the polls and the various offices with statewide election authority, there is currently no national Internet voting system. The risk of hacking and fraud is simply too great.
There may come a day when Internet voting can be secure and safe from hacking and fraud, but we are not there at this time.
Two important questions about Election Day are: when do the polling places open, and how long do they stay open? The answers vary from county to county and state to state.
Election Day itself is the Tuesday after the first Monday in November. That means that the earliest day could be November 2nd and the latest day could be November 8th, so the actual Election Day will vary each year.
Many states open polling places at 7AM and close at 7PM. However some states have longer voting hours, opening at 6AM and closing even as late as 9PM.
Polling place opening and closing times are questions that can only be answered definitively by contacting your local city hall, county government offices, or Office of the Secretary of State. Check our interactive map for official schedules and contact information.
More information can be found at both your county government website as well as your Secretary of State’s website.
So, you’ve registered to vote, you’ve found out how and where to vote, and you’ve done your civic duty on Election Day and cast that all-important ballot. The day after Election Day, you want to find out what the turnout was and which candidate or ballot measure won. How do you find voter turnout?
Often, on Election Day and the day after, the larger newspapers in your state will have special sections with the voter turnout statistics — both in print and on the Internet. Keeping an eye on the news coverage is certainly a good way to find out what is going on with the election results. Your local TV news might also have special programs on election night as the votes are tallied. For national elections, cable news will do the same.
Also, most county clerk offices will have a section on their website that has a mounting total as polling places report the final vote tally. Additionally, your Secretary of State will also have a section on its website with a running total of the statewide vote results.
Voter fraud is any attempt to illegally compromise our election system. Some examples include: phony voter registrations, fake absentee ballots, illegally trying to manipulate voters on Election Day, and theft of ballots.
What can I do about it?
The one best way to combat voter fraud is through citizen involvement. True the Vote trains, equips, and supports citizen activists to help spot, report, and stop voter fraud. We encourage citizens to volunteer at the polls to observe the election process and report irregularities. You can make a difference in keeping our elections free and fair.
How You Can Help
Roll Up Your Sleeves and Get Involved.
Join the movement and sign up for our Knowledge Network to get educated on the issues and opportunities to serve and connect with other citizen activists in your community.
Support True the Vote’s efforts to keep our elections free and fair.