Voter registration lists are an overlooked tool in family history research. Similar to Census Records they provide a date, name, and residence of your ancestor at a specific point in time, but occur much more frequently. Every place has a slightly different approach to what is recorded in a voter list, but most can provide something worthwhile—and potentially unavailable in other historical documents. Ancestry® has over 79 million voter registration records from around the world for you to search.
With Voting Records you can find:
A Brief History of Voting Records in the U.S.
Voter lists in the United States are not all alike. Every local municipality had a unique set of requirements for registering to vote—which in turn impacted who was documented. The siloed approach for each state also had an effect on how they collected and recorded voter details1. It is why some state voter lists are more comprehensive than others. The first registration law in the U.S. was enacted in Massachusetts in 18002. Over the following century each state developed their own rules for registration, and those have evolved over time with modern privacy laws3.
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Discovering more about the women and men in your family that registered to vote is as easy as entering their name. Include as much supplemental information as possible (birth location, dates), and see what you can find.