In it, but not of it. TPM DC

White House: Americans Can Register To Vote When Signing Up For Obamacare

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AP Photo / Carolyn Kaster

Insurance applications filed under the health care reform law are required by law to have a section for voter registration. The 1993 National Voter Registration Act mandates that any government agencies providing government services must also provide people with access to voter registration.

The Obama administration had previously said that the marketplaces fell under the 1993 law's statute and would therefore offer voter registration. That's still the plan, according to the senior administration official.

According to Mother Jones, the left-leaning policy group Demos and voter registration rights group Project Vote posted a report last month that the Obama administration would not offer voter registration services on the marketplaces. Instead, the insurance application would simply link consumers to a mail-in form.

When contacted by the magazine, the groups seemed to back off the report, saying that they had considering pulling it.

Congressional offices had been in touch about the matter, according to Mother Jones, though HHS had declined to comment to the magazine. HHS didn't immediately respond to TPM's request for comment.

Congressional Republicans have been critical of voter registration on the marketplaces. House Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee Chairman Charles Boustany, Jr. (R-LA) wrote a letter to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius in March, questioning the administration's plan.

Combining voter registration with the Obamacare marketplace, Boustany wrote, "could lead some to think voter registration is somehow tied to subsidy eligibility."

About The Author

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Dylan Scott is a reporter for Talking Points Memo. He previously reported for Governing magazine in Washington, D.C., and the Las Vegas Sun. His work has been recognized with a 2013 American Society of Business Publication Editors award for Best Feature Series and a 2010 Associated Press Society of Ohio award for Best Investigative Reporting. He can be reached at dylan@talkingpointsmemo.com.