Do I have to get approval before wearing a Vot-ER badge and helping patients register to vote?
The vast majority of health care workers do not need to get approval. As a healthcare professional, you’re free to place any information on your ID badge that is helpful to you and your patients. The important thing to remember is that patients choose whether to use Vot-ER’s registration platform and when they do so, they share information on their own phones. In short, you are offering patients an opportunity to access voter information—you’re not conducting the registration yourself.
Where are Vot-ER tools currently used?
Vot-ER tools are used at hundreds of healthcare sites, ranging from large academic medical centers like Massachusetts General Hospital and UPenn, to community hospitals like Tuscon Medical Center and primary care clinics like First Choice Primary Care. You can view an updated list of participating sites at vot-er.org/map.
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.
Is it legal to conduct voter registration activities in hospitals and other healthcare settings?
Yes. 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."