Promoting public access to election records.

Public Records Aren't Free

Election information, including lists of registered voters, is technically public record in all but a handful of U.S. states. However, we have found that it's extremely difficult to acquire.

Sometimes, the difficulty comes in laws that protect the privacy of citizens. For instance, Pennsylvania and Arizona will provide the records on paper or CD, but have laws preventing posting voter data on the Internet.

But the vast majority of the state and county Departments of Elections charge large fees—up to $12,500 per region—for voter histories. Presumably, voter lists are quite valuable to political candidates and lobbying committees; the Commonwealth of Virginia, for example, provides the lists only to those two groups.

Due to these restrictions, the data available through the Who Voted website is limited to the states of Florida, Idaho, Ohio, and Washington.

Still, if the Who Voted website gathers attention as a novel and useful public resource in those regions, perhaps other elections departments will be more amenable to working with us in our endeavor.

View voter record costs & limitations in all states


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