A look into voting record websites and how much real info they offer.
In America, an individual’s voting record is at least somewhat public in all 50 states.
President Trump had fallen into controversy when people found during the 2016 presidential race that he had not registered to vote until 1987. This worried some voters considering Trump turned 18 in 1964.
An incident in 2014 in Lee County, Florida, saw voters receiving their neighbors’ voting records through the mail. The implication was clear: if you do not vote, everyone is going to know. Technically, mailing voting records is legal.
The easiest way to pull a record is through the internet. Government websites work just fine, and often include that person’s polling place too.
Outside of those websites, plenty of third-party sites exist where all you need is a voter’s first and last name and the state they live in. Higher population states may require a little more identification, but for Oklahoma, that is all that is required.
Voterecords.com showed one’s voter registration date and the last time they voted, as well as age and a list of relatives, with questionable accuracy.
Badvoter.com only offers information on Oklahoma, Ohio and South Carolina. Its information includes age and hometown, as well as where one registered to vote, but it doesn’t seem to include a reliable record of one’s voting history at this time, with the site saying it needs a week or two to update.
However, public figures, like George Kaiser for example, appear up-to-date on Badvoter.com. It is possible absentee ballots and early voting counts first, and the massive pile of on-day voting takes some time to process.
Public record voting laws existed before the internet, a time when it took much more effort to see one’s history.
Only a first and last name are required to begin searching one’s voting history, though most websites only show when one registered to vote and when they have voted, not how and for whom, so it does leave citizens some privacy.