As advocates may recall, earlier this year the Biden Administration released an Executive Order on promoting access to voting. As part of the Executive Order, the Administration recognized that the right to vote is the foundation of American democracy and that decisive action is needed to ensure access to voting, particularly for people of color who face significant obstacles in exercising their right to vote. Of particular interest to ACU, was that the Executive Order charged the heads of each federal agency to establish and promote opportunities for voter registration and election information. In response to the Executive Order ACU began working with our partners at Vot-ER to meet with key contacts at the Health Resources and Services Administration as well as the Administration to offer support and provide recommendations on possible action steps to fulfill the Executive Order, specifically within the US Department of Health and Human Services.
In addition to these meetings, ACU joined with Vot-ER and other key partners in submitting a memo to HHS listing specific recommendations on how each division and agency could shape it’s portion of the voter access plan outlined in the Executive Order. The memo focused on four main areas of recommendation; establishing new metrics, collecting data, and promoting research on voter access, supporting state and local agencies in enhancing voter registration opportunities, facilitating voter registration in interactions with HHS stakeholders (including at health centers) and issuing guidance on voter registration and safe voting. At this time, the work and response to execute on the Executive Order within federal agencies is ongoing. ACU remains committed to working independently and with partners to expand voter access and ensure underserved communities have every opportunity to exercise their vitally important right to vote.
Further Voter Access and Health Equity Advocacy Resources for Underserved Communities
Find further resources to help clinicians empower their patients for civic engagement and get out the vote in our advocacy resources, learn more about our policy priorities, and join us! More resources are available at our partner Vot-ER’s website, including the Healthy Democracy Kit.