How much of your private information is public during primaries

Which party's ballot a person chooses is public record.

Posted: May 7, 2018 6:45 PM
Updated: May 7, 2018 6:45 PM

TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) — Which party's ballot a person chooses is public record, however the particular candidate a person votes for isn't.

Other public information is the name of the voter, their address and their eligibility status. Social security and drivers license numbers are not public.

In a primary election, people are not truly electing anyone. Instead, they are selecting candidates for the general election ballot.

Mike Smith has worked closely with the clerk's office for 35 years. He said while the way voters are targeted by parties have changed, the information they use to do it is essentially the same.

"People could call their party faithful and if they haven't voted yet they would be sitting there checking off the names of the folks they knew and they would be calling folks to turn out the vote and that has now accelerated by technology with computer targeting," said Smith.

Because Indiana does not have open Primary Elections, voters have to pick either the Democratic Party or Republican Party ballot.

Voter Chuck Simpson is fine with his party affiliation being used to get him to the polls, however he doesn't like that Indiana does not have open Primary Elections.

"With the sheriff's race and three candidates there, I don't get to vote on that and will I get the candidate in there that maybe I want, I don't know," said Simpson. 

Smith doesn't mind if people know his party affiliation either. He said in today's world it's pretty easy to know how a person will vote.

"Information is just readily available, you can almost tell by looking at someone's Facebook or Instagram or whatever what they are," said Smith. 

While in some ways information is readily available, accessing it can take some work.

"All that is by information request now, it is public but it's not like laying out here on the table and it takes some work to get to," said Smith. 

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