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Address Confidentiality

General Confidentiality

Under 18.005 of the Texas Election Code, a person’s name, Date of Birth, and Voter Identification number are public information. Additionally, what elections you voted in (but not how you voted) is also public information. The county registrar (and our state office) are required by law to respond to a request for public information. While all voters can request that their information be suppressed from the web, a voter’s information will still remain subject to disclosure under the Public Information Act.

That does not mean everything about your voter registration records is available. A voter’s social security number, Texas driver’s license number, number of a personal identification card issued by the Department of Public Safety, and an indication that an applicant is interested in working as an election judge are confidential and does not constitute public information, though election worker interest may be shared with local party chairs, and voter source code. (Section 13.004, Election Code, and the National Voter Registration Act (PDF))

Additionally, the voter registrar may not transcribe, copy, or otherwise record a telephone number furnished on a registration application, but may transcribe, copy, or otherwise record a social security number furnished on a registration application only in maintaining the accuracy of registration records. (Section 13.004(a) and (b), Election Code)

Finally, date of birth is confidential for all voters, unless the request is for a list of voters with voter information under Chapter 18 of the Election Code. Paxton v. City of Dallas, 2015 WL 3394061 (Tex. App.—Austin May 22, 2015, pet. denied) (mem. op.). Section 18.005, Election Code provides that date of birth must be contained on the original and supplemental list of registered voters. Therefore, when providing a list of voters pursuant to Chapter 18, date of birth may be released.

For example, if a person requests an individual’s voter registration information, the voter’s date of birth would be confidential. However, if a person asked for a list of all registered voters, then the date of birth for all registered voters would not be redacted.

Alternate Address Program Through DPS

The Alternate Address Program allows qualifying individuals (Federal or state judges and their spouses; Peace officers, including special investigators) to use an alternate address on their driver’s license or ID card in lieu of their actual residential address. These voters are allowed under law to designate their work (business) address, instead of their residence address, on their voter registration certificate if they choose.

The applicant’s voter registration information will be subject to public information, but because the residence address on the voter registration application is the applicant’s place of work instead of their actual residence address, the actual residence address cannot be found through public information requests.

If an applicant chooses to apply for this type of confidentiality, they must understand that they will then eligible to vote only in the precinct where the alternate address is located, which are often not in the same precincts as the applicant’s residential address.

Who is eligible?

How to apply

By appearing in-person at a DPS office to show proof of employment or spouse’s employment.

If a person is a judge or the spouse of a judge, they may complete a form that is provided through the Office of Court Administration (OCA) ahead of time so DPS has verification from OCA that the person is a judge. If the person indicates at the time the application is made for the Alternate Address Program with DPS that they would like to register to vote, then the alternate, business address is provided in lieu of the individual’s residence address on the voter registration application that the registrar receives from DPS. For more information on how to qualify and apply to this program, contact DPS at DPS Alternate Address Program.

Confidentiality for Peace Officers and Government Personnel under Gov. Code 552.1175

Allows certain government employees or peace officers to request that their address be kept confidential from open records request or any postings.

The applicant’s residence address, social security number, telephone number, emergency contact information, date of birth, and information on whether the applicant has family members will be confidential as a matter of law, not visible to poll workers on election day, and not releasable under a Public Information Act request. The voter’s name will appear on public records with an asterisk (***) in place of their address.

Who is eligible?

How to apply

By completing and submitting Confidentiality Request For Voter Registration Purposes (PDF) form and submitting it to the County Voter Registrar’s Office. You must attach a photocopy of any documentation showing that you are eligible for confidentiality.

Judicial Confidentiality

Judges may apply for confidentiality through the Alternate Address Program, or under Section 552.1175, Government Code, or through the Judicial Confidentiality Affidavit (PDF) under Section 13.004(c).

The applicant’s residence address is made confidential, in addition to other information confidential for all voters, including social security number, Texas driver’s license number, a number of a personal identification card issued by the Department of Public Safety, telephone number, and an indication that an applicant is interested in working as an election judge.

Who is eligible?

How to apply

Complete and notarize the Judicial Confidentiality Affidavit for Voter Registration. Submit the form to the county voter registrar’s office.

Address Confidentiality under 13.004

Allows certain individuals to request that their address be kept confidential from open records request or any postings.

The applicant’s residence address, social security number, Texas driver’s license number or personal identification card issued by the Department of Public Safety, or an applicant’s indication that an applicant is interested in working as an election judge will be confidential as a matter of law, not visible to poll workers on election day, and not releasable under a Public Information Act request. The voter’s name will appear on public records with an asterisk (***) in place of their address.

Who is eligible?

How to apply

Complete the 13.004 Request for Voter Registration Residential Address Confidentiality (PDF) form. Submit the form to the county voter registrar’s office, attaching any necessary documentation showing that you are eligible for confidentiality.

Attorney General Confidentiality Program

The Attorney General Address Confidentiality Program provides a substitute post office box address and mail forwarding service for certain victims of family violence, sexual assault, human trafficking, or stalking. All mail goes through this substitute post office box to ensure confidentiality to participants in this program.

The voter is not registered to vote using the county’s voter registration system, and no information for that voter will appear on any form but the Confidential Voter Registration Form and Early Voting Ballot Application, which is confidential.

The early voting clerk retains all information in the Confidential Voter Registration Form and Early Voting Ballot Application, however that form does not contain the actual residential address of the applicant, and the form itself is not public information and is confidential as a matter of law. (Section 81.38(h), Texas Administrative Code)

Please note: that any prior voter registration information for cancelled voter registration will remain on record at the county voter registrar’s office for two years. We recommend that the voter complete and submit a 13.004 Request for Voter Registration Residential Address Confidentiality(PDF) to the county voter registrar of any county in which the voter has been registered in the past two years in order for that information on the cancelled voter registration to remain confidential.

Who is eligible?

Victims of family violence, sexual assault, human trafficking, or stalking. See the Attorney General Address Confidentiality Program website or Subchapter C, Chapter 56, Code of Criminal Procedure for more information.

How to apply

The person must complete an application and can do so by meeting with a victim’s assistance counselor from a state or local agency or other organization that provides shelter or legal services to eligible victims, or by completing an application on their own. An applicant must provide a copy of a protective order or temporary injunction in place, or documentation of family violence, sexual assault or stalking. For more information on how to qualify under this program, please contact the Attorney General’s Office at 888-832-2322.

More information on this program can be found here on the Attorney General’s website: Attorney General Address Confidentiality Program.

Process for voting

Voters who have been qualified through the Attorney General’s Office and already have their assigned P.O. Box may, at any time during the year or at least by the close of regular business in the clerk’s office or 12 noon, whichever is later, on the 11th day before election day in any given election, appear in person at the early voting clerk’s office and complete and sign a Confidential Voter Registration Form and Early Voting Ballot Application (PDF). (Section 84.007(c), Election Code). This is an application for a confidential ballot by mail to be sent to the applicant’s Attorney General P.O. Box. This application also acts as a form of voter registration, though their information is never entered into the voter registration system, while the applicant is in the Attorney General Address Confidentiality Program. (Section 81.38(b)(1), Texas Administrative Code).

The Confidential Voter Registration Form and Early Voting Ballot Application constitutes the voter’s application to register to vote for so long as the applicant remains in the program, or until such time as the voter’s application remains valid. A voter in this program shall not be permitted to vote by personal appearance either during early voting or election day in any election for so long as the voter’s application remains valid. (Section 81.38(d), Texas Administrative Code)

The applicant must then point to a specific area on an official map of the political subdivision if able to do so, or may orally describe the location in sufficient detail to permit identification of the political subdivisions in which the protected applicant resides. The applicant must swear or affirm to the early voting clerk that the protected applicant’s place of residence as defined in Section 1.015 of the Election Code is located within that specifically identified location. (Section 81.38(b)(2), Texas Administrative Code)

Upon the applicant’s indication or description of the geographic location of the voter’s residence, the early voting clerk must record the jurisdictional codes for every political subdivision in which the protected applicant resides on the protected applicant’s confidential early voting ballot application. The early voting clerk may not transcribe, copy, or otherwise record any information on the applicant’s Confidential Voter Registration Form and Early Voting Ballot Application (PDF). (Section 81.38(b)(3) and (b)(4)(B), Texas Administrative Code)

NOTE: The early voting clerk is responsible for providing ballots to the protected applicant for any election conducted by the county. In order to receive a ballot for an local election conducted by a local political subdivision other than a county, the protected applicant must appear in person at the office of the local political subdivision’s early voting clerk and submit a Confidential Voter Registration Form and Early Voting Ballot Application. (Section 81.38(e), Texas Administrative Code)

Upon acceptance of the Confidential Voter Registration Form and Early Voting Ballot Application, the early voting clerk shall list the applicant’s name on the Confidential Roster of Protected Applicants, the date the ballot was mailed out, and the date the voted ballot was received by the early voting clerk. A protected applicant to whom a ballot is provided is not included on the regular early voting roster. Information contained on the Confidential Roster of Protected Applicants are not subject to disclosure under the Public Information Act. (Section 81.38(g)-(h), Texas Administrative Code)

The early voting clerk will check with the applicant that the applicant has cancelled their previous voter registration and will provide the voter with a 13.004 Request for Voter Registration Residential Address Confidentiality in order to make confidential the information in the cancelled registration. The early voting clerk will then notify the Secretary of State’s Office at elections@sos.texas.gov that the voter’s cancelled registration is confidential under Section 13.004, Election Code.

Type Where to file What County are they registered in Where do they vote What is confidential What is confidential
Alternate Address Program DPS In the county of
their alternate
address
In the precinct
where their
alternate address is located
Nothing on the
voter profile is confidential,
Remains untll registration is cancelled or updated
Confidentiality for Peace Officers
and Government
Personnel under
Gov. Code
552.1175
County voter registrar In the county where they reside In the precinct where they reside Residence,
telephone,
emergency contact, date of
birth, and whether the applicant has
family members
Remains until request is updated or cancelled by the voter
Judicial Confidential ity
under Tex. Elec.
Code 13.004
County voter registrar In the county where they reside In the precinct where they reside The applicant's residence address Remains until request is updated or cancelled by the voter, or receives note from OCA
Address confidentiality
under 13.004
County voter registrar In the county where they reside In the precinct where they reside The applicant's residence address Remains until
registration is
cancelled or
updated
Attorney General
Confidentiality
Program
County early voting clerk They are NEVER
registered
By mail only!
Through the early voting clerk in the county where they
physically reside
The voter is not registered and
therefore not subject to public
information
3 years