On the 20th anniversary of the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA), which requires departments of motor vehicles and agencies providing public assistance to offer voter registration, the Affordable Care Act provides another great opportunity to reach Americans about registering to vote.
An estimated 68 million people will be enrolling in the new health exchanges–16 million in 2014 alone. Like getting a driver’s license or signing up for public assistance, people enrolling will be asked if they want to register to vote. The Department of Health and Human Services has included a question about registering to vote in the current version of the enrollment form. A new Demos report notes, “Because subsidized health insurance under the ACA – ‘Insurance Affordability Programs’ – constitutes public assistance, the NVRA’s requirement for providing voter registration services applies.”
Health centers and nonprofits will be on the front lines of enrollment. Nonprofit VOTE is working with the National Association of Community Health Centers and other partners to create trainings and resources to help nonprofits take advantage of this historic opportunity. Through this new avenue, millions of Americans can be included in the political process.
For more, read the Demos report Building a Healthy Democracy: Registering 68 Million People to Vote through Health Benefit Exchanges.