Luján and colleagues urge HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra to expand access to vote registration on HealthCare.gov

From the office of US Senator Ben Ray Luján:

WASHINGTON, DC— U.S. Senators Ben Ray Luján (DN.M.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Sheldon Whitehouse (DR.I.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn .) and Mazie Hirono (D-Hawai’i) sent a letter to Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra requesting an update on the Department’s commitments in response to the Executive Order of the President Biden of March 2021 on expanding and promoting access to vote, including the Department’s commitment to expand access to voting by HealthCare.gov.

The Biden administration’s latest update on the implementation of Voting EO indicates that all agencies, including HHS, have made significant progress in improving Americans’ access to election information. and voter registration. But HHS can do more to fulfill its commitments under the President’s EO vote. In particular, it should quickly implement changes to HealthCare.gov to make it easier for millions of Americans to access voter registration services,” the lawmakers said.

In March 2021, President Biden Posted a decree entitledPromoting access to votingwhich required the various federal agencies to consider ways to expand access to voter registration and voter information and present their strategic plans within 200 days of the order’s issuance. In late 2021, HHS committed to launching a new voting access hub and making it easier for consumers to use HealthCare.gov to connect to voter registration services and is also committed to working with states to improve accessibility to voter registration.

Despite record voter turnout in the 2020 elections, low-income voters still voted at lower rates than high-income people, and difficulty getting registered to vote is the biggest barrier to voting for low-income Americans and communities of color. HHS can and should provide millions of low-income users with HealthCare.gov the opportunity to register to vote.

In the letter, the senators ask Secretary Becerra and HHS to provide an update on their efforts to comply with President Biden’s executive order and his progress in implementing access to voter registration via HealthCare.gov before July 13.

The full text of the letter is available HERE.

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