Every state requires its citizens to register with the secretary of state to vote if they intend to participate in an upcoming election. Voter records contain plenty of voting-related information, such as the voter's address, age, gender, ethnicity, the political party of affiliation, and any previous local, county and federal elections they have participated in.
Voter records are always considered public records and are therefore available under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and applicable laws in the voter's state of residence. States have kept voter records since George Washington’s election in 1789. However, the system for storing voter records has evolved since then. In the 21st Century, all voter records are now stored electronically. They contain detailed information on all registered voters.
There are currently over 200 million registered voters in the United States. Information on these voters is stored on secure servers. Some details contained in voter records are a matter of public record, such as the citizen's voting history and the party he or she belongs to. However, some personal information is private, such as the address and marital status.
People requesting voter records must specify the exact election for which they’re seeking data. They can request information on statewide elections or elections conducted in a specific county or legislative district.
The fee for accessing voter records is established by the secretary of state and varies according to the state, the type of data the requester is seeking and the number of names requested. The fees range from $15 for voter records in a county election up to as much as $2,000 for records in a legislative district.
Yes, each state keeps separate voter records. Voter records are kept by the secretary of state in each state of all citizens who are registered to vote. The federal government doesn't keep voter records.