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Voting record naming and shaming: What you need to know

HOUSTON – The contentious 2018 midterm election might be over -- in most states -- but one controversy still has people talking. It involves flyers mailed to residents in Harris County, naming and shaming your voting record and comparing it to your neighbors. 

Here's a look at what you need to know your voting information:

What information about your voting record/registration is public? 

In Texas, your name, address and whether you voted in any given election is public information. 

Douglas Ray with the Harris County Attorney's Office said, by law, the county also releases a daily list of people who have requested mail-in ballots, sent in mail-in ballots or who have voted early. 

Your driver's license number, Social Security number and your birth date are not publicly available. 

Your actual ballot showing which candidate or party you voted for is also private.

Who is gathering this information and what are they doing with it?

Researchers, campaign consultants and political action committees use the information to help get out the vote among people who might support their particular candidate or issue. 

Can you opt out?

For most of us, the answer is no, but Ray said there are exceptions. 

"Judges and law enforcement can be asked that their name be taken off the list that's published of the people that vote," Ray said. 

 

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