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How victims of stalking, violence and abuse can keep their information off public voting records

If you do not want your information to appear in public records when you register to vote in Texas, you have two options to help protect your information.

AUSTIN, Texas — The deadline to register to vote in the March 2022 primary election is on Monday, Jan. 31, but there are some people, like those who have been stalked or in abusive situations, who do not want their information on public voting records. 

People who are in this situation have two options.

Valerie DeBill, the voter registration and turnout director for the Austin Area League of Women Voters, talked to KVUE about those options. She told us the most comprehensive option is to apply for the Attorney General’s Address Confidentiality Program

This program gives the person a P.O. box address to use, which hides all their information, including name and county, from most public databases, including the voter registration database. To apply for this program, in most cases, you need the assistance of an attorney or a domestic violence center.

Here in Central Texas, a resource for this assistance is SAFE Alliance. They can be reached in English and Spanish 24 hours a day on the phone at 512-267-SAFE (7233), by text at 737-888-SAFE (7233), or through the online chat on their website.    

The second option, which protects less information but is easier to achieve, is to apply with your County Voter Registrar.

The upside to this option is that you are able to go directly to the voter registration office and apply on your own. The downside with this option is that although your address will not show up in public voting records, your name will still be listed as a registered voter in that county. Also, this option does not affect driver's license information or any other public records and databases.

DeBill said these are important resources and that the voices of these specific people are needed in our elections.

“It's important for victims and survivors of any sort of crime to be able to have a voice in the people who are making those laws and enforcing those laws,” explained DeBill. “And just basically to be able to add their voice to everybody else's to try to make good decisions for the future.”

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