REGISTRATION AND ELECTION DATA

Confidential Voter File

Pursuant to Elections Code Sections 2187(g), 2188 and 2194, voter registration information is available to persons or groups for election, scholarly, journalistic or political purposes, or governmental purposes, as determined by the Secretary of State. Each written request to view, purchase, or use voter registration information must be submitted in person and with identification on an application available at the Santa Cruz County Elections Department.

Permissible Usage

The California Code of Regulations, Division 7, Article 1, Section 19003, specifies permissible uses for any data obtained from voter registration files.

Permissible usage includes, but is not limited to:

  • Using registration information for purposes of communicating with others in connection with any election;
  • Sending communications, including but not limited to, mailings which campaign for or against any candidate or ballot measure in any election;
  • Sending communications, including but not limited to, mailings by or in behalf of any political party; provided however, that the content of such communications shall be devoted to news and opinions of candidates, elections, political party developments and related matters;
  • Sending communications, including but not limited to, mailings, incidental to the circulation or support of, or opposition to any recall, initiative, or referendum petition;
  • Sending of newsletters or bulletins by any elected public official, political party or candidate for public office;
  • Conducting any survey of voters in connection with any election campaign;
  • Conducting any survey of opinions of voters by any government agency, political party, elected official or political candidate for election or governmental purposes;
  • Conducting an audit of voter registration lists for the purposes of detecting voter registration fraud;
  • Soliciting contributions or services as part of any election campaign on behalf of any candidate for public office or any political party or in support of or opposition to any ballot measure;
  • Any official use by any local, state, or federal governmental agency.

Prohibited Usage

Prohibited usage includes:

  • Any communication or other use solely or partially for any commercial purpose;
  • Solicitation of contributions or services for any purpose other than on behalf of a candidate or political party or in support or opposition of a ballot measure;
  • Conducting any survey of opinions of voters other than those permitted by Section 19003.

California Elections Code 18109 states:

(a) It is a misdemeanor for any person in possession of information obtained pursuant to Article 5 (commencing with Section 2180) of Chapter 2 of Division 2, or Section 6254.4 of the Government Code, knowingly to use or permit the use of all or any part of that information for any purpose other than as permitted by law.

(b) It is a misdemeanor for any person knowingly to acquire possession or use of voter registration information referred to in subdivision (a) without first complying with Section 2188.

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