voter registration records

Restrictions on Accessing Voter Records

Because of privacy concerns, personal information on a voter at a voter registrar's office, such as a home address or phone number, is often not available to the general public. Only a voter's date of birth, mailing address and political party affiliation might be available.

In California, while personal information is not available for general public access, it is available for "journalistic purposes."

Thus to access the address and other more detailed information for a voter at the voter registrar's office, you will need to provide a press credential or some other form of identification showing you are a journalist or working for a journalism organization.

Here are the main sections of California law on the restrictions on public accessibility to some voter registration information and how this information is available to someone if it is to be used for "journalistic purposes."

California Government Code Section 6254.4

(a) The home address, telephone number, e-mail address, precinct number, or other number specified by the Secretary of State for voter registration purposes, and prior registration information shown on the voter registration card for all registered voters, are confidential and shall not be disclosed to any person, except pursuant to Section 2194 of the Elections Code.

California Elections Code Section 2194

(a) The voter registration card information identified in subdivision (a) of Section 6254.4 of the Government Code:

(1) Shall be confidential and shall not appear on any computer terminal, list, affidavit, duplicate affidavit, or other medium routinely available to the public at the county elections official's office.

(3) Shall be provided with respect to any voter, subject to the provisions of Sections 2166.5, 2166.7, and 2188, to any candidate for federal, state, or local office, to any committee for or against any initiative or referendum measure for which legal publication is made, and to any person for election, scholarly, journalistic, or political purposes, or for governmental purposes, as determined by the Secretary of State.