Access to voter registration took another step forward this month, with Secretary of State Bowen designating the new health insurance exchange, being set up under the Affordable Care Act, to act as a voter registration agency. The following is excerpted from the May 16 Sacramento Bee:
“Millions of Californians who contact the state's new health exchange to buy insurance will be given the opportunity to register to vote, too. Secretary of State Debra Bowen made California the first state to designate its health exchange as a voter registration agency.
A 1993 federal law requires states to designate their agencies and offices that provide public assistance or disability services as voter registration agencies. Public agencies in California that currently serve as voter registration outlets include the Department of Motor Vehicles and offices overseeing the state's welfare, tax collection, and in-home supportive services. California's health-care exchange, Covered California, is creating a marketplace for millions of uninsured Californians to compare prices and buy health insurance policies this fall to take effect Jan. 1.”