Requesting voter registration data
In order to obtain a voter file from the Election Division, an individual would have to complete and submit a request form. Click here to download a state and county request form.
The request forms form distinguishes between the unrestricted voter file and the restricted file.
Only the persons or entities listed in IC 3-7-26.4-6 (and on the form) are entitled to the unrestricted file. The unrestricted file contains the information from the voter file, including information like the voter’s date of birth and the voter’s voting history.
In contrast, the following information is removed from the voter file before it is provided to a person entitled only to a restricted file: date of birth, gender, telephone number or electronic mail address, voting history, voter identification number, and date of registration. See IC 37-26.4-8
The news media, who “will use this data for news broadcasting or publishing or otherwise in compliance with IC 3-7-26.4-11,” are entitled to an unrestricted file upon submission of a completed form and the payment of a fee of $5,000. However, it is important for a purchaser of the file to understand that the commercial use of the file to solicit the sale of merchandise, goods, services, or subscriptions is prohibited by law. IC 3-14-6-2. To use the information in a prohibited manner is a criminal offense.
In contrast, there is no fee for the restricted file. However, a person requesting the restricted file should also fill a request form.
This statute can be found at http://www.in.gov/legislative/ic/code.
In addition, state law (IC 3-7-26.4-4) provides that while the Election Division can provide certain reports and compilations from the statewide voter registration system, however, again, these reports cannot include restricted data like date of birth, gender, telephone number, or voting history. However, if the SVRS is not already designed to produce the customized report, the person requesting the information may have to bear the costs of programming to extract a customized report. IC 5-14-3-2(c) and IC 5-14-3-6(c)
It is also possible to request and obtain the voter file data from each of the 92 counties directly by contacting the voter registration office in each county, or in a particular county the requester may have an interest in. County voter registration offices are not subject to the same restrictions as the state.
However, each county must establish a policy (adopted by the county election board) to determine whether or not the county will provide their voter data in electronic format. The county may establish a policy stating that no one gets the information in electronic format. However, if the county establishes a policy that the voter information is available in electronic format then their policy must be uniform and nondiscriminatory. IC 3-7-27-6(c) and (d) I believe that most counties make their entire voter file (what we would call the “unrestricted file”) available in electronic format to persons who request it.
Of course, whether the data is received from a county or the state it is subject to the same restrictions against commercial use mentioned above.