Obamacare users pitched for voter registration

Sharyl Attkisson has dug up another interesting story of government activity which is certainly questionable in nature. It appears that at least some of the people who signed up for Obamacare have been getting some unsolicited e-mail… and it has nothing to do with healthcare.

Last spring, John* purchased health insurance through the Washington State healthcare exchange. He was surprised when, last month, he received an email from the exchange at the address he’d provided when he signed up. The email was entitled, “Voter Registration Information.”

It read, in part:

“ARE YOU REGISTERED TO VOTE? If you would like to register to vote or
update your information, visit the Washington Secretary of State
website at https://weiapplets.sos.wa.gov/myvote?Org=confidHBE&language=en”

“I did think it was an effort to [register voters] for the Democrat party,” says John, a union member for the better part of four decades.

He wasn’t the only healthcare exchange customer to get the voter registration email.

At first glance, I’m not sure what – if anything – is against the rules here. The government has a vested interest in providing voter registration information to qualified citizens. But at least in some states there seems to be a question about that. Attkisson notes that Obamacare supporters have been pushing to claim that the program falls under the National Voter Registration Act of 1993. This would mean that there was an obligation to provide registration information and the opportunity to register to anyone receiving public assistance. I suppose everyone getting a subsidy for their Obamacare policies might be said to fall into that category, but what about those who earn too much to qualify for a subsidy? Sounds like a complex problem to unravel.

But even if we are to assume that it’s legal, it’s a pretty good targeted GOTV program for the Democrats. Sharyl notes that there is no way for the system to identify participants by party affiliation or preference, so they’re probably int he clear. But who is most likely to be enrolled in Obamacare? The ratio in favor of the Democrats must be significant to say the least. Getting a list of those names and pipe-lining registration data to them is probably too good of an opportunity to pass up.

Well played, Democrats. Well played.