On Monday, California agreed to send voter registration cards to the millions of Californians who have shopped on the Obamacare exchanges, heading off complaints and lawsuits from groups including the American Civil Liberties Union.
The move will see mailings to the 3.8 million people who shopped the exchanges, the LA Times reports, though it is unclear how many would be eligible to vote.
Before the Monday decision, California had provided a link to register to vote on the exchange’s homepage, but shoppers who skipped the homepage or shopped by mail risked forgetting that they can vote in America, or been unable to figure out how they vote in America — missing their chance to weigh in on the important issues in the state and the country.
Outside groups had complained that previous state policy was in violation of the 1993 National Voter Registration Act that obligates the government to remind people who the taxpayers support with welfare and other benefits that they ought to vote.
Obamacare, these groups argued, is a government benefit just like all the rest, so should be subject to the same voter-registration promotion.
The voter-registration drive will mainly reach the poorer people who are seeking government health-care assistance, and are more likely to support the Democrats.
“Still,” The Washington Post reports, “the effort to expand access to voter registration through the marketplaces has encountered little political pushback.”