Vot-ER Badge User Guide
By using the Vot-ER badge in your daily practice, you can help your patients prepare for each and every opportunity to advocate for their health at the ballot box.
Do you smoke? Do you drink? Are you safe at home? Are you registered to vote?
FAQs & Legal Guidelines
What if a patient is interested in learning more or has specific questions?
You can say, “Once you scan my badge, there will be an option at the bottom of the page to text an expert with your questions—feel free to use the hotline, they would love to hear from you.”
What if a patient asks if they are allowed to register to vote?
To be eligible to register to vote patients must be:
- a citizen of the United States(residents in all 50 states eligible)
- 18 years old on or before the next election
- not be currently incarcerated for a felony conviction
What if the system goes down?
You can send an email to the VotER team at: email@example.com Please send a description of the problem. A picture of the issue on screen helps but is not necessary.
What do I say when asked about the difference between Republicans and Democrats?
There is no good answer or any accurate source that doesn’t have a bias outside of the party websites. You could mention the names of the current nominees for political office and their party, but go no further. Do the same as you would do when asked about who you support and tell them to ask a friend or go to the political party official websites.
Can I say anything about political candidates?
You can only answer simple facts like what party they are in, if they’re an incumbent or challenger or where they live. Don’t state your preferences.
What if someone asks me who I support or who they should vote for?
Remind them that as a hospital employee, you must be nonpartisan. Your options are:
- Encourage the person to talk to a friend or family member they trust and share values with.
- Direct the person to nonpartisan online tools provided by Non-Profit VOTE’s Voting In Your State: 50 State Guide that gives patients voter info.
- Closer to the election, you can link them to online tools that let voters know what’s on their ballot by directing them to Google “What’s on (my state) ballot?
Is there a fact sheet or one-pager I can share with my institution?
Yes, please download and share our fact sheet.
Be sure to emphasize that Vot-ER ‘s tools are nonpartisan, non-intrusive, and completely voluntary. Patients decide for themselves if they want to use Vot-ER’s platform, and can only access the platform using their own phones.
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.
How do I bring up voter registration to my patient?
Encourage your patients to vote by sharing nonpartisan, personal examples, such as “I vote because I care about the world I am leaving for my children,” rather than talking about specific candidates or parties.
For more guidance on how to start the conversation, check out our voter scripts.
What if patients have questions about voter registration that I cannot answer?
We partnered with VoteRiders to create a patient helpline with a chatbot and live person available 24/7 in English and Spanish.
What about HIPAA?
Patients choose whether to use Vot-ER’s platform, and when they do so, they share information on their own phones. Thus, voter information is not subject to HIPAA regulations.
In the event that you help a patient enter their information on the voter registration platform, do not use patient data from their medical record. Only use information you received directly from the patient.