Historians, researchers, and people exploring genealogy will have an new window to the past thanks to a new law Secretary of State Debra Bowen sponsored
and the governor approved last Friday.

California voter rolls will be available to the public after 100 years. Personal identifiers, such as Social Security and drivers license numbers, were not used in voter registration until 1994, and waiting 100 years to open these records ensures that no living individual’s information will be vulnerable to identity theft.

Each county Registar of Voters office maintains voter registration records containing information such as the date of birth, address, occupation, and in some cases the country of origin, and physical characteristics of each voter such as height, hair color and distinguishing marks.