The names and addresses of registered voters are available to people who use the information for purposes related to elections, political activities and law enforcement. In the past, some people have chosen not to register to vote because they did not feel safe having their information so readily accessible to others.
Minnesota voters who fear for their safety have two ways to register to vote without making their name and address publicly accessible:
State law allows voters to have their names and addresses withheld from the public list if they sign a statement certifying that they need their names and addresses withheld for their safety or their families safety. Please note that your name and address will still appear on the roster in your polling place and in the statewide database of registered voters available to state and local elections officials. Click here to view a sample statement. Submit your completed statement to your county elections official. Their contact information can be found in the Election Official Directory. If you have not already registered to vote, include your statement with your voter registration application, so your name and address will be marked private from the beginning.
As an additional safety measure, after the election you may want to submit a letter to your county elections official asking them to inactivate your record in the statewide database of voters. Your name and address may still be seen by state and local elections officials if they specifically look for it, but it would not be readily apparent otherwise. Click here to view a sample letter. Submit your letter to your county elections official. Their contact information can be found in the Election Official Directory.
You may also want to consider waiting to register to vote until you go to your polling place on Election Day and bring along copies of both the above letters to be attached to your voter registration application. This way, your information will not be in the database at all before the election. It will need to be entered after the election long enough to verify that you reside at the address at which you registered to vote, but will be marked as private from the beginning. To verify your address, your county election official will send you a postcard to see if it can be delivered. Once they have ensured that the postcard was not undeliverable, your county elections official can mark your record as inactive.
Individuals who fear that their names and addresses are becoming public information should consider whether the Safe at Home address confidentiality program would be beneficial for them. Participants in this program have all of their mail (not just voting related items) routed through the Office of the Secretary of State and forwarded to them as a way of concealing their location from those who may attempt to harm them. Safe at Home participants may vote through the program on a confidential basis. For more information on the Safe at Home program, see the Safe at Home Frequently Asked Questions.
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