ANA x Vot-ER: Get your Free Vot-ER Badge
I’m worried that this type of outreach will interfere with care.
Vot-ER helps clinics implement civic engagement while ensuring an uninterrupted care experience for patients and staff.
All of Vot-ER ‘s tools and programs are designed to work independently of healthcare staff involvement, and voter registration is done exclusively through patients’ personal devices. A voter text hotline is available to patients 24/7.
More than 130 healthcare sites and thousands of health care professionals across the country use Vot- ER in their daily practice. If you’re concerned about the impact of civic engagement on your clinic’s operations, please reach out. We want to work with you to address your concerns.
Is it legal to conduct voter registration activities in hospitals and other healthcare settings?
Yes, it’s legal for hospitals and other healthcare facilities to conduct nonpartisan voter registration and education activity.
The National Voter Registration Act of 1993 allows hospitals to facilitate nonpartisan voter registration for interested patients. (The same law also designated DMVs as voter registration agencies.)
Furthermore, the IRS explicitly states that “501(c)(3) organizations may conduct voter engagement”, and the Health Resources & Services Administration has affirmed that community health centers can run “non-partisan voter registration efforts as a means of reducing barriers to civic engagement within the communities they serve.”
My institution has concerns that non-US citizens will be turned away by the stigma of voter registration at the hospital.
We understand how important it is to address the barriers that many immigrants face when seeking care. Vot-ER tools and programs can be implemented in a thoughtful way that doesn’t exclude non-citizens. Our partners at AltaMed and Voto Latino recommend creating a habit of asking every patient, but in an open ended way: “The same way I care about your physical health, I also care about your civic health. How can I help you or your family get registered to vote?”.
Another way is to create non-intrusive opportunities for eligible patients to connect with our voter registration platform by placing Vot-ER posters, handouts, and badges in select areas. Ultimately, we leave it up to each site to weigh the risks and benefits of promoting voter registration.